August 13, 2014 / 6:43 AM / 3 years ago

Sampo hikes 2014 insurance profitability outlook

HELSINKI, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Finnish insurance and investment group Sampo on Wednesday upgraded the full-year profitability outlook for its property and casualty insurance business If due to favourable business conditions in Nordic region.

Sampo raised its 2014 target range for If's combined ratio, or claims and costs in relation to earned premiums, to 88-91 pct from its earlier guidance of 89-92 percent. Lower figure indicates better profitability.

Sampo also reported If's second-quarter combined ratio improved to 86.5 percent from 86.7 a year ago, but missing analysts' average expectation of 85.6 percent. If is the biggest property and casualty insurer in the Nordic region.

Sampo's pretax profit in the quarter improved 2 percent from a year ago to 465 million euros ($622 million), ahead of market consensus of 435 million euros. (1 US dollar = 0.7479 euro) (Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Sakari Suoninen)

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