Spain's Mapfre says Q1 profit fell 17 pct

MADRID Mon May 5, 2014 2:27am EDT

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MADRID May 5 (Reuters) - Spanish insurer Mapfre on Monday posted a first quarter net profit of 219 million euros ($304 million), down 17 percent on a year ago when it was boosted by one-off gains.

The company said insurance premium income had grown 1 percent in the period to 5.96 billion euros. Depreciating Latin American currencies hit earnings when converted into euros, Mapfre said, adding premium income would have grown 10 percent without this effect.

Mapfre said it was seeing signs of improvement in its Spanish division, which makes up 43 percent of its profit, as as economic recovery gathered pace. Premium income there grew 7.2 percent to 2.6 billion euros.

($1 = 0.7212 euros) (Reporting by Sarah White, Editing by Paul Day)

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