Acquisitions slow Pan-American earnings

Charges tied to 2011 acquisitions of insurance operations in the Caribbean and in Latin America pushed Pan-American Life Insurance Group pre-tax earnings down 27 percent in 2012, though overall revenue continued to grow, the company says.

The New Orleans-based insurance group on Tuesday reported $25.6 million in pre-tax operating earnings for 2012, down from about $35.1 million in 2011. Excluding $19 million in one-time, acquisition-related costs, Pan-American posted a 13 percent increase in pre-tax operating income last year.

Pan-American acquired some MetLife operations in Central America and the Caribbean for an undisclosed price in November 2011. The acquisitions, including an American Life and General Insurance Co. unit in Trinidad and Tobago and assets in Panama and Costa Rica, have been keys in Pan-American’s growth strategy.

The acquisitions boosted Pan-American’s total asset base 36 percent and more than doubled the number of countries the company operated in to 22.

CEO José Suquet earlier had said the larger footprint has bolstered Pan-American’s position as the primary health care and life insurance provider for American and international companies working in Latin America. The company also opened an office in Mexico in late 2012.

The company credited a 19 percent jump in 2012 revenue on the group of new international offices. Total revenue was $560 million in 2012 and net income for the year was up 44 percent to $46 million.

Pan-American’s assets totaled $3 billion at the end of 2012. The company employs more than 1,300 people worldwide.