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Profit report first for Highmark Inc. since 1997 merger

| Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Highmark Inc. Tuesday reported a profit of $129 million last year, the first time since it became a combined Blue Cross Blue Shield company in 1997.

UPMC Health System subsidiary UPMC Health Plan also reported its first operating profit since it ventured into the commercial insurance market in 1998.

Highmark's operating gain represents about 1.5 percent of the insurer's 2000 revenues of $9 billion.

The gain 'is a milestone in the company's efforts to strengthen its financial position and continue to meet the health care needs of its customers,' said John S. Brouse, Highmark's president and chief executive officer.

An operating gain is calculated by subtracting operating expenses, including health care claims and administrative costs, from revenues from premiums.

Highmark said several factors contributed to its operating gain, including a membership increase of 251,000, improved performance for some of its units, and better results from its dental, vision, and life and casualty businesses that showed net income of $30 million.

Highmark reported overall net income of $242.2 million in 2000, compared to net income of $68.6 million in the previous year.

Investment income last year was $243 million before taxes.

According to records filed with the state Insurance Department, UPMC Health Plan reported a profit of $91,698 on revenue of $353.7 million. It lost $17.9 million last year.

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