April 29, 2013 / 5:51 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Finland's Pohjola beats on strong insurance revenue

(Adds details on non-life insurance business, outlook)

HELSINKI, April 29 (Reuters) - Finland’s Pohjola Bank reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher premium revenues in its non-life insurance business.

Pohjola said first-quarter pretax profit rose 27 percent to 131 million euros ($171 million), beating the average forecast of 88 million euros in a Reuters poll.

Profit from its non-life insurance unit jumped to 55 million euros from 15 million euros a year earlier, beating the market’s consensus forecast of 21 million euros, as insurance premium revenues rose 10 percent.

A company-wide cost savings programme, which included job cuts, helped it trim expenses by 2 percent.

The company, which is the insurance and corporate banking arm of the Finland’s largest financial group, co-operative OP-Pohjola, repeated its forecast for full-year pretax profit to be higher than the 374 million euros it reported in 2012.

It was cautious about growth prospects for its banking business, however, citing weaker corporate lending. ($1 = 0.7676 euros) (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Daniel Magnowski and Helen Massy-Beresford)

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