February 28, 2020 / 12:03 AM / a month ago

Colombia holding GrupoSURA says profit rose 27.9% in 2019

BOGOTA, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Net profit at Colombian insurance conglomerate GrupoSURA rose 27.9% in 2019 to a record 1.7 trillion pesos ($493.9 million) compared with the year before, though profit fell in the fourth quarter, the company said on Thursday.

Better performance by pension investments, profit growth at Bancolombia and a smaller devaluation in the exchange rate explained the increase, SURA said in a filing to the country’s financial regulator.

Operational income was up 13.3% to 21.9 trillion pesos compared to 2018 thanks to organic growth, higher investment income and portfolio diversification, the company said.

The company’s subsidiaries include insurance provider Suramericana. It has shares in Bancolombia, Grupo Argos and Grupo Nutresa, Colombia’s largest producer of processed foods.

Net profit was down 5% in the fourth quarter to 225 billion pesos ($65.6 million), compared with the same period a year earlier.

SURA has financial, insurance and other assets in 10 Latin American countries. ($1 = 3,441.88 Colombian pesos)

Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; editing by Diane Craft

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