Enhance Financial Services Group Inc. said this week that its profits in the first quarter of 1994 declined 16.8%, with net income totaling $10.4 million, or 58 cents a share, compared with $12.5 million, or 69 cents, in the first quarter of 1993.

Enhance, whose officials were upbeat about the quarterly performance, attributed the decline to a drop in realized capital gains.

"Enhance Group enjoyed outstanding performance in the first quarter of 1994," Wallace O. Sellers, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. He cited the firm's ability to increase net premiums written, despite the slowdown in municipal volume, and the positive contribution made by its specialty activities.

Net premiums written totaled $23.1 million in 1994's first quarter, a 49% increase from $15.5 million in the prior year. Of net premiums written in the first quarter, 53% came from the reinsurance of municipal bonds, 33% from specialty activities, and 14% from the reinsurance of non-municipal securities, an Enhance press released said.

The firm's qualified statutory capital base increased to $383.3 million as of March 31, 1994, from $379.4 million at yearend 1993.

On the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, the day after Enhance released its earnings, the company's shares closed at 18 1/4, up 1/2.

Enhance Group's two main subsidiaries are Enhance Reinsurance Co., one of the largest municipal bond reinsurers, and Asset Guaranty Insurance Co., which insures and reinsures municipal and other credit-related specialty lines.

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