VIENNA Aug 27 Austrian insurer Uniqa
boosted second-quarter earnings from ordinary activities by
nearly 70 percent to 80 million euros ($107 million) as premiums
rose, highlighting its earnings power before a planned share
Premiums written rose to 1.23 billion euros from 1.15
billion a year earlier, while net profit nearly tripled to 75
Despite a 30-million-euro hit from flood damage, its
combined ratio, a measure of profitability in the property and
accident segments, improved in the first half to 99.4 percent
from 100.7 percent a year earlier, the company said on Tuesday.
Uniqa said it was on track to hit long-term growth targets,
which include doubling the number of customers it had in 2010 to
15 million by 2020 and increasing pretax profit by up to 400
million euros between 2010 and 2015.
Uniqa has left open whether the share sale that will
increase its free float to as much as 49 percent from 7.5
percent now would take place this year or next, saying market
conditions would decide this.
Uniqa plans to use the proceeds to fuel expansion in eastern
Europe, where it is seeking acquisitions worth up to 150 million
($1 = 0.7477 euros)
(Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)