Farmers Posts Rise

In Operating IncomeFarmers Group Inc., the target of a takeover bid from Batus Inc., reported operating income of $78.4 million, or $1.14 a share, up slightly from the $71 million, or $1.03 a share, reported for the first quarter of 1987.

Batus Inc., a subsidiary of British-based B.A.T. Industries PLC, has offered $63 a share for Farmers, which is one of the nation's largest home and automobile insurers. Executives from the two companies said earlier this month they were prepared to meet and discuss an offer higher than Batus' last $4.5 billion bid. B.A.T. Industries is a tobacco, retailing and insurance conglomerate.

Yet officials could not agree on the terms of a confidentiality agreement under which Farmers would give Batus all information it has provided to other interested buyers, a spokesman for Farmers said.

The companies have no plans for a meeting and neither side has offered another proposal, the spokesman added.

Farmers reported net income of $71.35 million, or $1.04 a share, for the first quarter, up from the $56.9 million, or 82 cents a share, reported for the same period of 1987.

The company reported consolidated revenue of $287.56 million, up slightly

from the $267.9 million for the first quarter of last year.

Liberty Mutual Posted

Premium Gain in 1987

BOSTON - Liberty Mutual Insurance Cos. reported a net gain from operations of $202.7 million for 1987, down from the $306.34 million reported in 1986.

Net premiums at this property and casualty insurer were $6.39 million in 1987, up 16.6 percent from 1986. The net premium figure for 1986 was not available.

Dividends declared to policyholders totaled $212.34 million in 1987, up

from the $205.9 million reported in 1986.

Marsh & McLennan

Earnings, Income Rise

NEW YORK - Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., the insurance and reinsurance broker, Tuesday reported that revenue for the first quarter ending March 31 reached $595 million, up from $560 million for the same period of 1987.

Net income for the first quarter increased to $94 million, up from $93 million and earnings a share increased to $1.28, compared with $1.25 a year ago.