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Grupo Security Q4 profit jumps 10% on stronger bank results

Grupo Security S.A. on March 30 posted a 10.0% rise in its fourth-quarter net profit as results from its Banco Security SA unit more than quadrupled to offset weaker results from its life insurance business.

The financial group showed net income of 15.15 billion Chilean pesos for the three-month period, up from 13.77 billion pesos earned a year earlier. EBITDA rose to 26.09 billion pesos from 22.04 billion pesos year over year.

The results came as profit from Banco Security jumped 314.4% to 8.51 billion pesos from 2.05 billion pesos year over year, largely on the back of a 43.1% drop in net provisions, which fell to 7.87 billion pesos from 13.84 billion pesos. Net interest income at the bank, meanwhile, rose 4.2% year over year to 34.60 billion pesos, and net commission income grew 5.4% to 13.60 billion pesos.

Income from the group's factoring business, meanwhile, ticked 7.3% year over year to 1.87 billion pesos.

Those results helped to offset a sharp decline in Grupo Security's insurance division, where the company saw profits at its Seguros Vida Security Previsión S.A. unit sink 38.2% to 6.66 billion pesos from the year-ago period. However, the company did record a 118% jump in profit from its smaller Servicios Security operations, with net income shooting to 417 million pesos from 191 million pesos year over year.

Insurance results for the fourth quarter also didn't include Penta Security, which the company sold to U.S.-based Liberty International Holdings Inc. earlier in 2016. Year-ago results had included 45 million pesos of income from Penta Security.

In its investments area, the company's Valores Security division swung to a 502 million peso profit from a 243 million peso loss a year earlier, while AGF Security's income grew 12.6% to 1.76 billion pesos.

The quarterly results brought Grupo Security's full-year 2016 net profit to 74.52 billion pesos, up 14.6% from 65.02 billion pesos earned a year earlier.

As of March 30, US$1 was equivalent to 662.50 Chiliean pesos.