In our business, solid and steady - especially when it comes to financial performance – are generally a result of disciplined risk management, hard work and proper planning. Our customers place their trust in PALIG’s financial strength and expect us to fulfill the promise that we’ll be there for them at some of the most critical times in their lives.
As such, we have made a concerted strategic effort to build our business in a way that will continue to generate consistent growth while preserving a sound foundation that helps guarantee our commitment to our policyholders. That approach bears out in another year of strong financial results for PALIG in 2018.
Last year, we continued our consistent trajectory of revenue growth, posting GAAP revenues of $1.1 billion, a 3 percent increase over 2017. Total premium grew 1 percent to $1.11 billion and pre-tax operating income rose by 6 percent to a record $93 million. Net income for 2018 decreased 5 percent to $73 million due to lower unrealized investment gains.
Those results build on a remarkable track record over the past decade. But solid and steady should not be mistaken for staying put, and we refuse to rest on our laurels. That is why we approached 2018 as a year of building for the future. A time to redouble our purpose and put our partnerships into action to ensure that our next decade will be as successful as the past one.
We focused our attention on investments that will strengthen the organization well into the future, including in leadership and talent development, systems and technology enhancements, new products and succession planning. We are now in a better position to take on the market with new leadership in key areas of the company and renewed momentum.
During my years as CEO, I have been fortunate to count on an extremely capable leadership team that has been instrumental to the transformation of Pan-American Life. Some of those leaders were looking forward to the time when they could embark on a different path and enjoy the hard-earned fruits of their labor. So, in 2018 we began implementing a succession planning process that has been years in the making.
Key executives such as John Foley, head of our U.S. Group Business; Stephen Batza, President of U.S. Life and President and longtime CEO of Mutual Trust Life Insurance Company; and Chief Investment Officer Rudy Revuelta all announced their retirements in 2018. And by the time you read these words, Patrick Fraizer, our General Counsel for more than ten years, will have also announced that he is leaving our leadership ranks.