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Topdanmark's Q1 profit drops YOY; 2016 profit guidance upgraded

on May 10 postedfirst-quarter net profit of 164 million Danish kroner, down from 286 millionkroner in the year-ago period.

EPS forthe quarter was 1.7 kroner, compared to 2.8 kroner in the year-ago period.

Thetotal investment return for the period was a loss of 53 million kroner,compared to the year-ago profit of 2.69 billion kroner.

Thenonlife insurance operations posted a technical profit of 323 million kroner inthe first three months of the year, up from 207 million kroner in theprior-year quarter. While the business segment's gross premiums written droppedyear over year to 4.00 billion kroner from 4.11 billion kroner, the grossclaims paid also decreased to 1.52 billion kroner from 1.66 billion kroner overthe same period.

Technicalloss from the life insurance operations widened on a yearly basis to 18 millionkroner from 7 million kroner. Gross premiums written rose to 2.13 billionkroner from 1.62 billion kroner in the year-ago period. For the quarter, theallocated investment return for the life insurance operations, net ofreinsurance, was a loss of 270 million kroner, compared to a profit of 2.21billion kroner in the year-ago quarter. Claims and benefits paid, net ofreinsurance, increased year over year to 851 million kroner from 782 millionkroner. Topdanmark changed its growth expectation for thesegment's regular premiums to around 5% from between zero percent and 5%.

The first-quarternonlife combined ratio was 85.8%, compared to 91.2% in the year-ago period. Thecombined ratio, excluding run-off profits, was 91.6% for the quarter, comparedto 93.3% a year ago. The assumed combined ratio for 2016 was improved toabout 89%, excludingrun-off profit/losses in the last three quarters of 2016, from about 91%.

For2016, Topdanmark revised its overall post-tax profit to between 900 million kronerand 1 billion kroner from between 800 million kroner and 900 million kroner.The assumed profit range excludes run-off profits/losses in theremaining three quarters of 2016.

Inaddition, the company upgraded its share buyback for 2016 by 100 million kronerto 1.35 billion kroner, representing a buyback yield of 8.3%, pendingregulatory approval.

As of May 9, US$1 wasequivalent to 6.53 Danish kroner.