November 16, 2017 / 6:21 AM / in a year

Dutch insurer NN Group's third-quarter bolstered by Delta Lloyd

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch insurer NN Group (NN.AS) beat expectations on Thursday with a 35 percent jump in third-quarter profit to 431 million euros ($507.7 million) buoyed by its acquisition of smaller rival Delta Lloyd DLL.D.

Analysts polled by Reuters on average had predicted operating profit from on ongoing business of 394 million euros, up from 319 million a year earlier.

Net profit rose 68 percent to 734 million euros, also beating expectations.

Sales rose by 33 percent as the 2.5 billion euro Delta Lloyd takeover, which was completed in May, helped results at its life insurance business in the Netherlands.

“The integration of the Delta Lloyd and NN operations in the Netherlands and Belgium is progressing well,” Chief Executive Lard Friese said.

“We are only at the beginning of the process, but we still see significant room for synergies, especially through cost savings.”

Delta Lloyd agreed to a takeover late last year, ending a turbulent period in which it struggled to strengthen its capital base and clashed with the Dutch central bank, leading to the departure of top executives.

NN expects the takeover to lead to cost reductions reaching 150 million euro in 2020, It will present further plans for the combined company to analysts and investors on Nov 30.

NN reported strong demand in Japan for its life insurance products in the third quarter, while profit fell at the property, casualty and health business in the Netherlands, due to high claims on disability insurance.

The overall improved results and favorable developments on the bond markets strengthened NN’s capital position. Its Solvency II capital ratio rose to 204 percent at the end of September from 196 percent at the end of June.

Reporting by Bart Meijer; editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Jason Neely

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