August 29, 2013 / 6:17 AM / 4 years ago

Vienna Insurance H1 pretax profit falls 32 pct

FRANKFURT, Aug 29 (Reuters) - First-half profit before tax at Vienna Insurance Group fell 32 percent, it said on Thursday, weighed down by an impairment at its business in Romania.

Emerging Europe's biggest insurer generated pretax profit of 205.7 million euros ($274.4 million) as premiums fell 4.8 percent to 5 billion euros, mainly due to a reduction in its single premium business in Poland.

Its combined ratio - a key measure of profitability - remained below 100 percent, the company said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected second-quarter profit before tax to fall by two-thirds to 51.5 million euros on lower premiums of 2.28 billion.

That translates to first-half profit before tax of 210.9 million based on first-quarter profit before tax of 159.4 million. ($1 = 0.7496 euros) (Reporting by Mike Shields and Edward Taylor)

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