VIENNA, March 9 (Reuters) - Austrian insurer Uniqa's reported a lower than predicted profit on Wednesday, blaming "persistently difficult conditions" and low interest rates, and warned that profits could fall by as much as half this year.
Earnings before tax last year rose 12 percent to 422.8 million euros ($466 million), Uniqa said.
It had said in November it expected a pretax profit of between 425 million euros and 450 million euros.
A spokesman said the company had switched to using the term earnings before tax but it was the same as pretax profit. ($1=0.9071 euros) (Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Greg Mahlich)