US based life insurer National Western Life Insurance Company reported that its revenue rose by 9% to $196.7m for the first quarter in 2012, compared to revenue of $180.37m during the same quarter previous year.

Operating revenues, excluding realized gains on investments and index options, stood at $153.1m, up more than 5% for the first three months of the latest fiscal against $145.4m during the same period a year ago.

National Western Life attributed growth in revenue to improved market values on call options purchased by the company to fund interest credit obligations on its fixed-index life and annuity products.

For the quarter period ended on 31 March 2012, the underwriter’s consolidated net earnings stood at $19.7m, or $5.58 per diluted Class A common share, compared to consolidate net earnings of $18.2m, or $5.15 per diluted Class A common share during the year ago quarter.

As per the financial data released by the company, its book value per share rose to $358.71 at 31 March 2012 from $351.27 at 31 December 2011.

National Western Life Insurance Company president Ross R Moody said that the firm has continued to grow its block of business through steady sales growth and good persistency of insurance contracts.

"Domestic life insurance sales increased 225% in the first quarter of this year compared to 2011 reflecting management’s focus on building this segment of our business," Moody said.

"While the low interest rate environment is an ongoing challenge to the spread management aspect of our business, we persist in benefiting from improving placement ratios in our underwriting area, good claim experience, and well-managed expense levels."

National Western Life is a 56-year-old company, which offers policies pertaining to individual universal life, whole life and term insurance plans, annuity products, and investment contracts meeting.

As of 31 March 2012, the underwriter managed total assets of $9.9bn, stockholders’ equity of $1.3bn, and life insurance in force of $21bn.