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Mercury General reports Q1 net loss

Mercury General Corporation, a multiple line insurance organization, has reported a net loss of $4 million for the first quarter of 2008, compared with a net income of $60.5 million for the same period of 2007.

Included in net loss/income are net realized investment losses, net of tax, of $59.9 million in the first quarter of 2008 compared with net realized investment losses, net of tax, of $0.7 million for the same period in 2007.

Operating income for the quarter was $55.9 million, down 8.5% compared to the same period in 2007. Net investment income of $39.3 million in the period decreased 6.8% over the same period in 2007.

The after-tax yield on investment income was 3.9% on average assets of $3.5 billion for the quarter. This compares with an after-tax yield on investment income of 4.2% on average investments of $3.4 billion for the corresponding quarter in 2007.

Company-wide net premiums written were $729.3 million in the first quarter 2008, a 7.2% decrease over the first quarter 2007 net premiums written of $785.9 million.