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Sampo posts YOY decline in Q2 profit

Sampo Oyj reported second-quarter group profit attributable to owners of the parent of €404 million, down from €586 million in the year-ago period.

EPS for the quarter was 73 cents, compared to €1.06 a year earlier.

Pretax profit amounted to €506 million, down from the year-ago €708 million. Sampo's share of associated company Nordea Bank Abp's net profit for the quarter amounted to €140 million, compared to €223 million a year earlier. Topdanmark A/S' pretax profit contribution totaled €53 million, up from the year-ago €45 million, while Mandatum Life Insurance Co. Ltd.'s pretax profit contribution amounted to €65 million, down 73% from €239 million a year earlier.

The Finnish group's insurance premiums written rose on a yearly basis to €1.90 billion from €1.86 billion. Net income from investments also increased to €422 million from €330 million in the second quarter of 2018.

Claims incurred amounted to €1.28 billion, compared to €1.26 billion a year earlier. The change in liabilities for insurance and investment contracts totaled a negative €312 million, compared to the year-ago negative €271 million.

The combined ratio in the If property and casualty segment stood at 83.0% at the end of June, compared to 85.1% in a year ago. The group said If is expected to reach a combined ratio target of between 84% and 86% for 2019.

For the first half, Sampo's attributable group profit declined year over year to €762 million from €934 million. Return on equity for the half stood at 15.4%, compared to 10.2% a year ago.

Group pretax profit for the first half totaled €981 million, down from €1.15 billion in the first half of 2018.

Sampo's group solvency ratio stood at 130% as of June 30, compared to 146% a year earlier.

Sampo disclosed in June plans to distribute an extra dividend to shareholders in the form of shares in Nordea, where each shareholder will receive 1 Nordea share for every 10 shares held in Sampo. The plan, to be resolved in a meeting Aug. 7, will see Sampo's stake in Nordea falling below 20%, allowing the stake to be treated as a normal equity investment and resulting in the termination of the conglomerate rules solvency calculations, which will require formal approval by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority.

Sampo expects to receive regulatory approval before the release date of its results for the first nine months of 2019.