OSLO May 7 Norwegian insurer Storebrand posted first-quarter earnings above expectations on Wednesday but said low interest rates were a challenge and rules on longer life expectancy would weigh on its long term outlook.
Its group profit rose 32 percent to 728 million crowns ($123.07 million), beating expectations for 585 million crowns in a Reuters poll of analysts.
"Low interest rates are challenging for insurance companies that have to cover an annual interest rate guarantee," it said in a statement. "Growth is still expected in Storebrand's core markets, driven by low unemployment and good wage growth."
"Storebrand's results will during the period from 2014 to 2020 be reduced by a minimum of 20 percent of the costs associated with the build-up of reserves for expected increased longevity," Storebrand added. ($1 = 5.9152 Norwegian Krones) (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi, editing by Terje Solsvik)