NU Online News Service, Feb. 1, 12:39 p.m. EST

Greenwich, Conn.-based insurer W.R. Berkley says 2011 fourth-quarter net income was down 7 percent, but its chief executive says rate increases are taking hold and 2012 should be a better year.

"Our confidence in the cyclical turn is becoming greater as time passes," says William R. Berkley, chairman and chief executive officer in a statement. "We continue to see recognition by the industry of the need for further rate increases and greater underwriting discipline. We anticipate 2012 will be a better year, although it will primarily be recognized in the second half when the benefits of price increases will be realized. We are excited about the opportunities currently before us."

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