Unum Group beat first quarter Wall Street estimates this week with the help of strong sales from supplemental and voluntary segments at Unum US and Colonial Life.
As employers continue to shift benefit choices and the funding of those benefits onto employees, Unum is keeping pace by investing in its product portfolio, distribution and enrollment platforms, executives said.
“We saw a good new number of new clients come on board from a voluntary benefit standpoint as well as a strong re-enrollment activity with existing clients,” Mike Simonds, CEO of Unum US, said in a call with analysts.
First-quarter premium income at Unum US generated by the supplemental and voluntary benefits rose 11.2 percent to $363.7 million compared with the year-ago period.
First-quarter premium income at Colonial Life rose 6.6 percent to $374.3 million, compared with the year-ago period, Unum reported.
Unum competes in the U.K. market as well.
Entry into Dental and Vision Lines
Last year, Unum bought dental and vision insurance provider and administrator H&J Capital, the parent of Starmount Life and AlwaysCare Benefits, for $127 million. That purchase helped boost sales.
“It is very good to see such strong sales both in our premium growth and voluntary benefits,” Simonds said.
Unum Group, which also provides accident, critical illness, dental, vision coverage and related services, reported first-quarter profit of $229.9 million.
On a per-share basis, the company said it had profit of $1. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $1.02 per share.
The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1 per share.
The insurance company posted revenue of $2.81 billion in the period. Its adjusted revenue was $2.8 billion.
Unum shares have increased about 7 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen about 7 percent.
In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $46.93, an increase of 38 percent in the last 12 months.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at email@example.com.
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