United Companies Financial Corp. reported 1995 net income of $69.5 million, a 40.4% increase from the previous year.

The subprime lender's income from continuing operations was $73 million, up 33.6%.

United Companies underwrote $1.5 billion of home equity loans last year, a 70% increase from the $909 million of loans underwritten in 1994.

The company attributed the increase to growth in its retail, wholesale, and financial institutions divisions.

Delinquencies as of Dec. 30 were 8.15% compared to 7.67% the year earlier, while net chargeoffs were $12.2 million, or 0.56%, compared with $11.7 million, or 0.84% in 1994.

Separately, United Companies disclosed plans to sell its life insurance subsidiary as it shifts its focus to core lending operations.

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