Profit statements

Nordic insurer Sampo’s fourth-quarter profit beats forecasts

The Sampo Group logo is pictured at the company’s headquarters in Helsinki, Finland November 7, 2018. Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via REUTERS

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HELSINKI, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Finnish financial group Sampo (SAMPO.HE) reported a bigger-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter pre-tax profit on Wednesday, boosted by a strong performance in its core insurance business.

The pan-Nordic insurer reported a pre-tax profit of 1.2 billion euros ($1.37 billion) for the quarter, compared to a loss of 675 million a year ago, beating the average estimate of 998 million euros in a survey provided by the company.

Pre-tax profit from October to December was 452 million euros excluding exceptional items as Sampo significantly reduced its stake in pan-Nordic bank Nordea (NDAFI.HE) to focus on the insurance sector.

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Sampo said the group’s combined ratio for its P&C insurance business improved by 2 percentage points to 81.4% for the full year 2021, beating the average estimate of 82.8%. . A ratio below 100 means that the insurer earns more in premiums than it pays in claims.

“The result was supported by excellent profitability in our largest subsidiary, If P&C, which reached a combined ratio of 81.3% and a technical profit of 891 million euros in 2021, representing a growth of 15% from year-over-year excluding the effects of COVID-19. “Sampo chief executive Torbjorn Magnusson said in a statement.

Sampo’s board of directors has proposed a dividend of 4.10 euros per share, including an insurance dividend of 1.70 euros per share.

($1 = 0.8763 euros)

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Reporting by Anne Kauranen, editing by Louise Heavens

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