Sampo posts third quarter profit below market expectations

HELSINKI Fri Nov 9, 2012 2:59am EST

HELSINKI Nov 9 (Reuters) - Finnish insurer Sampo reported a smaller-than-expected rise in third quarter pretax profit on Friday.

Sampo's July-September profit before taxes rose 146 percent from a year ago to 368 million euros ($468.35 million), but this fell short of an average forecast for 384 million in a Reuters poll.

Sampo said that the full-year profitability ratio at its property and casualty business would be stronger than its earlier forecast. The insurer said this business was now expected to reach a combined ratio of 89-91 per cent for the full year. Its earlier estimate was 89-92 percent.

The group's property and casualty insurance business had a combined ratio - a measure of profitability - of 89.3 percent in the third quarter, roughly meeting analysts' expectations.

($1 = 0.7857 euros) (Reporting By Jussi Rosendahl. Editing by Jane Merriman)