Insurance provider Unum Group posted lower fourth-quarter profits in part because of increased reserves set aside for death benefits.

The company said fourth-quarter net income totaled $221.2 million, or 84 cents a share, down from $233.9 million, or 85 cents a share a year ago.

Total quarterly revenue fell to $2.59 billion from $2.66 billion a year ago.

Still, the company’s after-tax operating income, which many investors consider the true gauge of an insurance company’s health, rose. For the fourth quarter, after-tax operating income was 85 cents a share, compared with 82 cents a share, a year ago.

Unum, which is based in Tennessee but has a large corporate presence in Portland, said it expects growth in after-tax operating earnings per share for the full-year 2014 to be in the range of 5 to 10 percent.

Unum released its earnings after the stock market closed Tuesday. Shares of Unum added 59 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $31.30 on the New York Stock Exchange.


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