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Unipol swings to H1 profit from year-ago loss on Popolare Vita sale

Italy-based Unipol Gruppo SpA reported first-half consolidated net profit attributable to owners of the parent of €481.7 million, compared to the year-ago loss of €488.6 million.

The result included a capital gain of €309 million from the sale of the group's investment in Popolare Vita, now known as Vera Vita SpA.

Net premiums ticked up on a yearly basis to €5.71 billion from €5.69 billion. Gross premiums came in at €5.91 billion, compared to the year-ago €5.89 billion.

Fee and commission income reached €84.1 million, compared to €83.1 million a year earlier.

Unipol Gruppo's banking business booked first-half consolidated profit of €13 million, compared to the year-ago loss of €712 million.

First-half consolidated profit from the insurance business rose 59% year over year to €709 million. The nonlife business contributed €248 million to the result, down 14.9% from a year earlier, while the life business contributed €461 million, up from the year-ago €154 million and took into account the Popolare Vita sale.

First-half net premiums at the nonlife business was up 0.6% year over year to €3.75 billion, while net premiums at the life business fell 0.4% to €1.96 billion.

The group recorded a direct business combined ratio of 93.0%, compared to 95.3% in the first half of 2017.

At June-end, Unipol Gruppo's solvency ratio, calculated on the basis of the partial internal model, was 160%, down from 166% at the end of 2017 based on definitive figures due mainly to the increased spread on Italian government bonds.

Main unit UnipolSai Assicurazioni SpA's individual reported solvency ratio, calculated on the basis of the partial internal model, stood at 252%.

The common equity Tier 1 ratio was 30% at the level of the Unipol banking group at the end of June, compared to 31.5% at the end of 2017, also largely due to the increased spread on government bonds.