Liberty Mutual says profits up 26 percent for first quarter of 2012

Liberty Mutual Holding Co. of Boston reported today it earned $459 million for the first quarter, up 26 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The company said it benefited from fewer international disasters, the mild winter in the northeastern United States, increased prices for insurance policies, and stronger sales in targeted areas. Revenue rose 6 percent to $8.9 billion for the three months ended March 31.

“We saw improvements in profitability and solid growth,’’ said Liberty Mutual chief executive David Long in a conference call with analysts. Long said the company, like other insurers, is also seeking significant rate increases in US home insurance, particularly in the Midwest.


Liberty Mutual, which has been under fire for its executive compensation, did not take questions from investors or analysts during the call, citing the company’s pending offer to purchase up to $700 million in outstanding bonds as the reason.

The company did not address the topic of executive compensation during the call.

The Globe recently reported that former chief executive Edmund F. Kelly earned an average of $50 million over the past four years, significantly more than his peers, which has sparked complaints from some policyholders.

Liberty Mutual is mutually owned by its policyholders, rather than shareholders.

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