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Principal Financial 1st-quarter net profit, operating revenues rise

George C. Ford, CR Gazette –

Principal Financial Group, with operations in Cedar Rapids and Hiawatha, on Friday reported higher first-quarter net income and operating revenues.

The Des Moines-based insurance and financial services provider posted first-quarter net income of $201.5 million, or 66 cents per share, up 11 percent from $182 million, or 56 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2011. First-quarter operating revenues were $2.11 billion, compared with $2.05 billion for the same period last year.

Principal Financial posted operating earnings of $213 million, or 70 cents per diluted share, for the quarter that ended March 31, down 3 percent from $219.8 million, or 68 cents per diluted share, for the same quarter last year. The company ended the first quarter with a record $364.1 billion worth of assets under management.

Larry Zimpleman, chairman, president and CEO of Principal Financial Group, said the company continues to invest in its businesses, both organically and through strategic acquisitions. The company recently announced the purchase of a majority stake in Claritas, a retail mutual fund and asset management company based in Brazil and Principal Financial’s fourth international acquisition in the last 12 months.

Terry Lillis, Principal Financial Group chief financial officer, said the company had $1.6 billion of excess capital at the end of first quarter, an improving investment portfolio and strong ongoing capital generation.

“We continue to have financial flexibility to invest in our businesses and return more capital to shareholders,” Lillis said.

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