OSLO Feb 14 Norway's biggest insurer
Gjensidige's fourth-quarter earnings rose more than
expected as premiums earned rose and claims fell, while the
return on financial assets increased.
October to December pretax profit rose to 1.38 billion
crowns ($251.8 million) from 814 million in the year-ago period,
it said on Thursday, beating all estimates in a Reuters poll of
analysts in which the mean forecast was 1.12 billion
Gjensidige's combined ratio, which measures general
insurance costs and claims as a percentage of premiums, was 86.4
percent compared to the average estimate of 89.0 percent, and
from 95.7 percent a year ago.
It proposed a dividend of 6.85 crowns per share, above
forecasts and up from 4.55 a year ago.
($1 = 5.4806 Norwegian crowns)
(Reporting by Victoria Klesty)