November 6, 2019 / 8:18 AM / 9 days ago

UPDATE 1-Finnish insurer Sampo quarterly profits fall 81%

(Adds details, shares)

Nov 6 (Reuters) - Finnish financial group Sampo reported a bigger than forecast drop in third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, hit by one-off charges at its stake in regional bank Nordea, but said it expects to report good operating results for 2019.

The pan-Nordic insurance firm, which owns 19.9% of Nordea, reported an 81% fall from a year earlier in pretax profit to 92 million euros ($102 million), compared with an average forecast of 192 million euros, according to Refinitiv data.

Nordea swung into the red in the third quarter on one-off charges for IT assets and restructuring among others, totalling 1.3 billion euros.

The same day Nordea reported the loss — the first ever for the banking group since it was created in 1998 — Sampo warned its 2019 dividend would be below market expectations and dropped a target of continuous dividend growth.

Sampo said it expects to report good results from operations for 2019, but some of its business units, like life insurance, are highly dependent on capital market developments.

“The continuing low interest rate level also creates a challenging environment for reinvestment in fixed income instruments,” it said.

Shares in Sampo opened 0.3% lower.

$1 = 0.9031 euros Reporting by Tarmo Virki in Tallinn; editing by Louise Heavens and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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