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Emerging markets boost Vienna

Premium growth in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe saw Vienna Insurance Group post a 34 percent increase to EUR288mn in its first half profits.

The group’s premiums were up 41 percent in Central and Eastern Europe while profits in the region grew 78 percent.

Overall consolidated premiums rose 20.7 percent compared to EUR4.22bn.

The company’s CEO Guenter Geyer said the company would likely exceed its 2008 guidance of EUR540mn in pre-tax profit, and raised the guidance for 2010 and 2011.

Despite taking hits from European windstorms Paula and Emma the company maintained a steady 95.9 percent in its combined ratio, a drop of 0.1 percentage point from the prior-year.

Analyst Ralph Hebgen of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods commented: “We believe the results are strong and demonstrate that Vienna Insurance is able to source strong growth, driven by its operations in central and Eastern Europe, at a difficult time in the financial markets.”

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