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W&W to invest in digitization as FY'16 profit dips YOY

Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG reported full-year 2016 IFRS consolidated net profit of €235.3 million, down from €274.3 million in 2015.

EPS amounted to €2.49, down from €2.88 a year earlier.

Net profit from the home loan and savings bank rose to €58.7 million from €57.0 million in 2015. Net profit from the life and health insurance segment ticked up on a yearly basis to €49.7 million from €40.3 million, while in property and casualty insurance, net profit declined to €108.3 million from €114.9 million.

The net financial result, after credit risk adjustments, fell year over year to €1.82 billion from €2.03 billion.

Net premiums and contributions earned came in at €3.93 billion, compared to €3.98 billion a year earlier. The group's gross premiums written dipped slightly to €3.99 billion from the year-ago €4.04 billion. In life and health insurance, gross premiums written declined on a yearly basis to €2.32 billion from €2.38 billion, while in P&C insurance, gross premiums written ticked up to €1.68 billion from €1.64 billion.

W&W said it will pay a dividend of 60 cents per share for 2016, unchanged from a year earlier.

The group said it expects the persistent low interest rate environment to continue to pose "a great challenge" for the life insurance industry. It expects its life and health insurance segment to post income of between €30 million and €50 million in 2017, while for the P&C insurance segment, after-tax earnings are expected to be slightly lower than the level in 2016.

W&W added that it will invest approximately €100 million in digitization over the next three years.