(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)