Fortis Holding insurer posts EUR 886 million profit
Fortis Holding, comprising the Belgian and international insurance divisions of dismantled Belgian-Dutch bank-insurer Fortis, on Thursday reported a first half net profit of EUR 886 million (USD 1.26 billion).
The company "performed well" in difficult times, earning EUR 228 million from its core insurance activities, the company said, with the total net profit boosted by exceptional items following the dismantling of Fortis Bank last year.
The Belgian state nationalised the Belgian banking subdivision of financial services group Fortis at the peak of the financial crisis last October and sold it to French bank BNP Paribas.
At the same time, the Dutch government acquired the Dutch operations of its parent company before selling the assets on to British insurer Amlin.
"The first half of 2009 was marked by the closing of the transactions with BNP Paribas, the Belgian state and Fortis Bank, representing a new start for Fortis as a pure insurance company," said Fortis Holding's CEO Bart De Smet.
"Our results benefited from a number of exceptional items related to these transactions but I’m also pleased to report that our insurance operations performed well in what were sometimes difficult markets," he said.
Nevertheless, the company expects "the market environment to remain challenging with an economic situation impacting customer behaviour across Life and Non-Life businesses," he cautioned.
The company is conducting a strategic review, focusing on its insurance activities and balance sheet structure, and the results will be made known on September 25.