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Wind, hail dent Donegal Q1 earnings

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A series of severe storms knocked down Donegal Group Inc.'s earnings by nearly 57 percent in the first three months of 2017, the company announced Wednesday.

The Lancaster County-based insurance holding company had a net income of $5.1 million in the first quarter of the year, compared to $11.8 million for the same period in 2016.

Donegal executive vice president and CFO Jeffrey Miller pointed to "numerous wind and hail events" in the company's Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern and Southern regions as the culprits for the earnings ding. Although no one loss or storm specifically hurt the company, the cumulative impact far exceeded the historic average for this time of year.

Donegal president and CEO Kevin Burke assured investors that signs point toward a better second quarter.

"Donegal Group reported strong organic growth, a higher return from our investment portfolio and profitable operations in the first quarter of 2017, despite higher-than-expected losses related to severe storm activity in several of our marketing regions," Burke said in the company's earnings announcement.

Donegal operates in 21 states and is working to expand its footprint to the Southwest with the acquisition of a New Mexico-based company.

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Jennifer Wentz

Jennifer Wentz

Jennifer Wentz covers Lancaster County, York County, financial services, taxation and legal services. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at jwentz@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @jenni_wentz.

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