Insurer NN Group plans 1 bln euros share buyback as demand remains strong

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Overview of Amsterdam's stock exchange interior in Amsterdam, Netherlands, September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

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AMSTERDAM, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Dutch insurer NN Group (NN.AS) on Thursday announced a 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion) share buyback, as demand for insurance remained strong in the second half of last year, driven by extreme weather and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The largest insurer in the Netherlands said favourable business conditions almost doubled its operation capital generation in the last six months of 2021 to 804 million euros.

Net profit jumped 42% to 1.86 billion euros, while operating result fell 5%, as claims in its reinsurance business rose.

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"The COVID-19 pandemic continued to dominate our daily lives (and) extreme weather struck during the summer of 2021, underscoring the real-life impact of climate change", Chief Executive Officer David Knibbe said.

"These developments contributed to a higher awareness of risk and vulnerability, which resulted in an increased demand for protection products."

The company said it would buy back 1 billion euros worth of its own shares in the period until March next year, and raised its dividend over 2021 by 7% compared to the year before.

Among other key metrics, NN's solvency under Europe's Solvency II regime improved to 213% at the end of last year, up from 209% in December 2020.

($1 = 0.8807 euros)

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Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Sam Holmes and Subhranshu Sahu

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