BRUSSELS Aug 6 Belgian insurance group Ageas
beat second-quarter profit expectations due to a sharp
rise in life income and announced a new 250 million euro ($334.1
million) share buy-back.
Ageas, the successor to bailed out and broken up
Belgian-Dutch group Fortis, said on Wednesday that higher
capital gains and increased inflows, especially in China and
Luxembourg, had b boosted earnings of its life insurance
This more than offset its non-life insurance activities,
which took a 24 million euro hit from a damaging June hailstorm
Net profit from insurance operations rose 14 percent to
195.2 million euros, well above the 159 million euro average
forecast in a Reuters poll, even when excluding a 23 million
euro Belgian tax credit.
Ageas said its board had decided to start a new 250 million
share buy-back programme running until July 21, 2015. The
company completed a 200 million euro share buy-back programme in
the past year.
It said this was possible despite it setting aside 130
million euros for possible compensation after a Dutch court
ruled last week that Fortis had misled shareholders after its
initial bailout in September 2008.
Ageas also said it had agreed to sell its life insurance
activities in Britain, Ageas Protect to AIG for 181
million pounds ($305.2 million), allowing the company to focus
on its non-life business, such as home and motor cover for
supermarket group Tesco.
It also said on Wednesday that it and BNP Paribas Cardif
had agreed to take full control of Italian non-life
player UBI Assicurazioni from UBI Banca.
($1 = 0.7482 Euros)
($1 = 0.5930 British Pounds)
(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop)