Ageas raises dividend as profits beat expectations

BRUSSELS Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:47am EST

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BRUSSELS Feb 20 (Reuters) - Belgium-based insurance group Ageas increased its dividend by half as its profit beat expectations in its core business of Belgian life insurance.

The company raised its dividend to 1.20 euros per share, 50 percent more than last time when taking account of a 10-for-one stock exchange last year to reduce the number of Ageas shares.

Its full-year insurance profit was 624 million euros ($833.44 million), compared with 586 million euros expected on average by five banks and brokerages polled by Reuters.

In Belgian life insurance, its net profit was 259.6 million euros, compared with 219 forecast in the poll, on the back of strong sales of guaranteed savings products in the country. ($1 = 0.7487 euros) (Reporting By Ben Deighton)

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