IRVINE — UniCare Financial Corp., recovering a bit from a tough first half for itself and the workers' compensation industry in general, reported that its annual profit fell 53% to $3.5 million, or 70 cents a share.
The parent company of UniCare Insurance Co., a workers' compensation insurance underwriter, posted 1991 income of $7.5 million, or $1.38 a share.
The 1992 earnings came on record revenue of $146 million, a 16% increase over $126.3 million in revenue for the previous year.
"We've had a tough couple of years in California, especially with the explosion of claims in 1991," said Russell E. Leatherby, UniCare's chairman. "We've been absorbing the costs of those claims over the course of the last year."
The spillover of claims into the first six months of last year caused a 75% drop in net income for the first half. But Leatherby said the number of claims filed in the second half of the year fell, reducing the annual figures somewhat compared to 1991. Details on claims will be released to the state later, he said.
The beleaguered workers' compensation industry received some good news last week when early reports to the state showed a significant drop in the number of employee claims for lost wages. In two cases, the drop was more than 30%.
UniCare's lower annual profit was also affected by changes in accounting standards.
For the fourth quarter, the company earned $903,000, or 18 cents a share, a 44% increase over net income of $626,000, or 12 cents a share, for the previous year's final three months. Quarterly revenue rose 13% to $39 million from $34.4 million.