Hartford Financial Services Group has reported net income of $557m, compared to a net loss of $806m, for the same period last year.

The core earnings for the fourth quarter of 2009 were $689m compared with a core loss of $208m, or $0.72 per diluted share, in the prior year period.

The property and casualty operations net income was $508m, compared to $291m in the prior year period. The fourth quarter of 2009 included a net realized capital gain of $128m, after-tax, compared to a net realized capital loss of $162m, after-tax, in the prior year period.

The written premiums for the property and casualty operations in the fourth quarter were $2.4bn, compared to $2.5bn in the fourth quarter of 2008. The decline in premium was due to macroeconomic-driven exposure reductions and soft pricing in commercial lines.

Liam McGee, chairman, president and chief executive officer, The Hartford, said: “The Hartford’s fourth quarter results represent a return to profitability. Both life and property and casualty businesses reported net income, and this is the third sequential quarter of improving core earnings. Additionally, we ended the year in a strong capital position.”

The Hartford currently expects 2010 core earnings per diluted share to be between $3.70 and $4.