July 25, 2019 / 9:13 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-French reinsurer SCOR's second quarter net profit soars

(Adds detail and background)

By Inti Landauro

PARIS, July 25 (Reuters) - French reinsurer SCOR, which was the target of a failed takeover attempt last year, said its net profit for the second quarter rose 62% from the same period a year ago, helping the company meet financial targets it set three years ago.

Net profit rose to 155 million euros ($172.55 million), while its net profit in the first half rose 9.2% to 286 million. The company had to book a 62 million euro charge in the second quarter of 2018 related to tax cuts in the United States.

The second quarter profit was higher than the 143 million euro consensus expected by brokerage Jefferies.

“To our mind, second quarter results confirm that SCOR’s growth remains on track,” wrote Jefferies in a note.

SCOR shares were flat in early session trading.

SCOR said it had met its profitability target set in its strategic plan three year ago, “despite significant industry, regulatory and geopolitical headwinds over the period.”

Company CEO Denis Kessler mentioned that there had been higher than expected costs related to natural catastrophes in the U.S. and in Japan in late 2018, that were booked in the first quarter of 2019.

There were also costs associated with Brexit, which forced the reinsurer to incorporate new firms outside the U.K.

The company, which was the target of a failed takeover attempt by French unlisted insurer Covea a year ago, said it would release a new strategic plan in early September.

Kessler, who at the age of 67 is approaching retirement, reiterated that SCOR would disclose the succession plan it is working on in late 2020. (Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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