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Austria's VIG posts 28m-euro profit because of smaller claims

Vienna Insurance Austrian group, which controls Omniasig,Asirom, BCR Asigurări and BCR Asigurări de Viaţă companiesdomestically, last year reported gross income worth 28.5m eurosfrom Romanian operations, up 18% from 2009.

The increase is mainly due to falling settled claims and loweroperating expenses. The companies VIG holds in Romania in 2010 paiddamages worth 325m euros, 16% less than a year before. Claimsaccounted for 62% in gross underwritten premiums.

"The claims rate fell by 4.9% last year in Romania reflectingthe rising tariffs for car policies, the introduction ofdeductibles and the exchange rate impact," reads Austrian group'sannual report.

Operating expenses fell by 11% and reached 152m euros. However,their weight in total underwritten premiums slightly increased toaround 29% on the portfolio cleanup operations.

The Austrian group underwrote gross premiums worth 528m euroslast year, down 13% year-on-year as a result of the lower sales ofcar policies. The decline tops the 5.7% slump the insurance marketposted in 2010. However, VIG is still the biggest player in theRomanian insurance industry.

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