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W&W H1 profit up after sharp rise in P&C segment

Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG reported first-half consolidated net profit attributable to shareholders of the company of €154.2 million, mainly driven by the higher result from its property and casualty insurance segment, compared to €120.1 million in the year-ago period.

EPS for the half was €1.65, up from €1.28 in the same period of 2016.

Net income from financial assets available for sale amounted to €388.5 million, down from €463.6 million in the first half of 2016, while the net result from financial assets/liabilities reached €252.0 million, compared to negative €72.3 million a year ago.

Net earned premiums fell on a yearly basis to €1.91 billion from €2.00 billion, while the group's net financial result increased to €1.07 billion from €876.1 million.

First-half after-tax net income in the property and casualty insurance segment reached €96.1 million, up from €56.3 million a year ago. Net income at the home loan and savings bank segment fell year over year to €27.4 million from €33.1 million, while net income in the life and health insurance segment also decreased to €16.4 million from €18.1 million.

The group's gross combined ratio was 86.2%, compared to 90.0% a year ago.

W&W earlier said it expects its net profit for the full year to exceed the €235 million booked for 2016, an upgrade to its previous guidance that 2017 earnings would be equivalent on a year-over-year basis. The insurer cited growth in new business, the effects of sales and customer service measures and a "very good claims trend" in property insurance, as well as an expected one-off gain, as reasons for the revised forecast.

However, the group noted that year-to-date business performance is not an indicator that the trend will continue beyond 2017 and that the forecast is subject to a lack of major capital market events and claims.