Net income from the insurance operations of Royal Bank of Canada is up 29% for the first quarter ending January 31, 2003 versus the same period last year. The company reports that property reinsurance operations and U.S. subsidiary RBC Liberty Insurance accounted for most of the growth, which amounted to net income of $54 million for the quarter versus $ 42 million in early 2002. Premiums and deposits were up 11% to $534 million so far this year from $479 million the previous year, although much of this was due to a shift in the company’s reporting structure that saw an extra month of business thrown into the results for the Canadian operations. Earned premium growth was substantial at 46% year-on-year to $406 million from $279 million. Gross revenues were up 17% during the same comparative period, to $155 million from $132 million. The operation’s return on equity grew 380 basis points to 26.8% from 23%. The company is realigning its reinsurance operations, noting that premiums were down $32 million, or 30%, year-on-year. “This reflected tighter underwriting standards, which have helped to improve portfolio quality and profitability in this line of business,” the company reports.