StorebrandASA said first-quarter profit attributable to shareholders roseyear over year as it boosted profit in its division that handles definedcontribution pensions.
Attributable profit totaled 302 million Norwegian kroner, upfrom 246 million kroner a year ago. EPS for the period was 67 øre,compared to 55 øre a year earlier.
Group profit before amortization was 546 million kroner,compared to 450 million kroner a year earlier, while pretax profit rose to 430million kroner from 346 million kroner.
In the savings business, which in addition to definedcontribution pensions in Norway and Sweden also covers asset management andbank products to private individuals, the result before amortization was 283million kroner, a rise from 216 million kroner a year earlier. Fee andadministration income rose 10% to 697 million kroner, driven by customersswitching to defined contribution from defined benefit pension schemes.
Unit-linked premiums — which do not carry interest rateguarantees — totaled 3.69 billion kroner, compared to 2.87 billion kroner inthe first quarter of 2015.
The group's total first-quarter premium income was 8.29billion kroner, compared to 8.23 billion kroner in the year-ago period, whilenet interest income from banking activities dropped to 88 million kroner from94 million kroner.
In the insurance business, total written premiums for thequarter stood at 4.40 billion kroner, compared to 4.05 billion kroner a yearearlier. Property and casualty and individual life premiums rose to 1.70billion kroner from 1.53 billion kroner, while health and group life premiumsticked up to 1.49 billion kroner from 1.45 billion kroner.
The combined ratio in the insurance business stood at 92% inthe first quarter, compared to 90% in the year-ago period. Theresult before amortization in the business was 122 million kroner, down from159 million kroner a year earlier.
In the guaranteed pension business, the result beforeamortization was 15 million kroner, down from 236 million kroner a yearearlier, as the fall in interest rates during the quarter had a negative impacton the Swedish business.
The group's annualized ROE for the period amounted to 6.5%,up from 6.0% a year ago.
The group Solvency II margin was 175% as of March 31,compared to 168% at the end of December 2015 and 146% at the end of September2015. As of March 31, Storebrand Bank ASA's core Tier 1 capital ratio was 15.4%,compared to 15.2% three months earlier.
As of April 26, US$1was equivalent to 8.15 Norwegian kroner.