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Ageas Q1 profit more than doubles YOY on Asia boost

Ageas SA/NV posted a year-over-year increase in first-quarter net results, driven by an increase in insurance profits from Asia.

The Belgian insurance group reported first-quarter net result attributable to shareholders of €247.7 million, up from €110.2 million in the year-ago period.

The net attributable result from insurance totaled €299.4 million, up from €222.3 million a year earlier. The life business brought in income of €251.9 million, a 50% increase from the year-ago €167.9 million, while the nonlife business booked a net result of €47.5 million, down from €54.4 million a year earlier.

Net attributable result from insurance in Belgium dipped on a yearly basis to €136.4 million from €141.6 million. In contrast, net attributable result from insurance in Asia amounted to €123.8 million, up from the year-ago €51.5 million, driven by a high first-quarter result in China, supported by some exceptional elements.

The group's gross premium income was €2.26 billion, compared to €2.25 billion a year earlier. Net earned premiums came in at €2.05 billion, compared to the year-ago €2.03 billion.

Total income declined on a yearly basis to €2.89 billion from €3.13 billion. Total expenses narrowed to €2.52 billion from €2.90 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

Net insurance claims and benefits totaled €1.91 billion, compared to the year-ago €1.90 billion. Gains related to unit-linked contracts amounted to €144.1 million, compared to a charge of €215.4 million a year earlier.

The group's combined ratio stood at 98.8% in the first quarter, compared to 98.3% a year earlier.

Ageas' total group Solvency II ratio stood at 194.7% at the end of March, compared to 196.3% at 2017-end. The total insurance Solvency II ratio was 196.0% at March-end, compared to 196.1% at the end of 2017.