Safeco reported a 22 percent drop in first-quarter profit, a day after saying it would be acquired by Liberty Mutual.

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Safeco’s first-quarter profit dropped 22 percent, the Seattle-based insurer said the day after announcing it would be acquired by Liberty Mutual Group.

Net income was $141.8 million, down from $182.5 million in last year’s first quarter.

Safeco said its auto insurance produced an underwriting profit of $3.1 million, compared with $17.2 million in the same period last year.

Safeco Property, which includes homeowners and related coverages, had a quarterly pretax underwriting profit of $11.4 million, compared with $44.8 million in the same period a year ago.

The business insurance unit’s pretax underwriting profits fell nearly by half, to $25.0 million in the first quarter, compared with $48.9 million for the same period in 2007.

Safeco said its damage claims, particularly from windstorms, were higher than last year.

Pretax catastrophe losses for the first quarter were $22.8 million, compared with $1.3 million a year ago.