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ING US 1Q loss narrows

NEW YORK (AP) -- The financial services company ING U.S. Inc. said Thursday that its first-quarter loss narrowed, helped by better results at its retirement and annuities businesses.

The company, which went public earlier this month, posted a loss attributable to common shareholders of $212 million, or 92 cents per share, compared with a loss of $505.2 million, or $2.20 per share, in the same quarter the year before.

Excluding certain items, the company said it posted an adjusted profit of 73 cents per share for the recent quarter.

Pretax operating earnings rose 11 percent at the retirement business to $137.8 million and jumped 49 percent to $54.3 million at its annuities business.

ING U.S. is part of Dutch financial services provider ING Groep NV. The parent company sold a minority stake in ING U.S. through the IPO as part of compensation measures demanded by the European Commission after ING received a bailout from the Dutch government in 2008.

ING U.S., with insurance, investment and retirement businesses, plans to rebrand itself as Voya Financial next year.

ING U.S. shares rose 38 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $26.34 in midday trading. They have traded in a 52-week range of $19.20 to $27.83.