Travelers reports income plunge

The group said net income for the year to end-December 2008 fell to $2.9bn from $4.6bn a year earlier. Travelers was hit hard by pretax catastrophe losses of $1.408bn, down from pretax losses in 2007 of $167m.

Investment-wise, Travelers reported pretax investment losses for the year of $415m, down from gains of $154m the year before.

However, Travelers chairman and chief executive Jay Fishman was confident of the group's prospects for 2009.

"We believe that Travelers is well positioned in the curr