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Cigna fourth-quarter profit rises 29 percent due to higher premium revenue

Cigna CEO David Cordani is interviewed at the Reuters Health Summit 2014 in Washington April 1, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

(Reuters) - Health insurer Cigna Corp (CI.N) reported a 29 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, driven by increased premium revenue and effective medical cost management.

The company's net income attributable to shareholders rose to $467 million, or $1.77 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $361 million, or $1.29 per share, a year earlier.

Net income attributable to shareholders included a special charge of $40 million, or $0.15 per share, related to organizational costs in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Total revenue rose to $8.93 billion from $8.15 billion.

Cigna manages insurance plans for large corporations and sells health plans on government exchanges created under the U.S. Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare. The company also offers dental and other benefits.

(Reporting by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru and Caroline Humer in New York; Editing by Simon Jennings)