SAN FRANCISCO - The private mortgage insurer PMI Group reported Wednesday that record new-insurance volume propelled a 19% rise in its first-quarter net income, to $71.5 million.

Earnings per share were $1.60, up 20% from the first quarter of 2000. Revenue growth was led by consolidated net premiums earned, $170.1 million, up 14.4%, and investment income, up 15.3% to $31.2 million, the company said.

Combined new primary mortgage insurance written was $9.3 billion, versus $7.3 billion in the year-earlier period. Secondary market transactions accounted for $0.1 billion in first quarter 2001, against $1 billion in the first quarter of 2000.

W. Roger Haughton, chairman and chief executive of PMI, said in a prepared statement that other "key components" to the "excellent" results included credit quality.

"We are pleased with the strength of the purchase mortgage market in the U.S., and our results reflect that market strength," he said.

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