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Wiener Stadtische profits up


VIENNA, Austria - Wiener Stadtische Group reported Tuesday that itsbefore-tax profit increased by about €231 million, or 23%, in the firstthree quarters of 2006, due in part to growth in its Central and EasternEuropean operations.

The profit numbers mean the Vienna-based insurer has already hit thefull-year figures from 2005 in nine months, said Group Chief ExecutiveOfficer Gunter Geyer.

"All countries have made a positive contribution to this result, despite thehigh number of claims incurred due to natural disasters in the first halfyear 2006," he said in a statement.

Through the third quarter, Vienna Insurance Group reported consolidatedpremiums written in the amount of &euro 4.32 billion, an increase of 14.4%, ascompared to the same period the year before.

The group's Central and Eastern Europe companies remain "strong growth drivers" the company said, generating premiums written of €1.61 billion in the first three quarters, an increase of 42.5%.

Earlier than expected CEE companies now account for approximately 50% oftotal group property/casualty premiums," Mr. Geyer said.

"For the first time, premium income from CEE in this segment is higher than in Austria."

In the Austrian companies, premiums written amounted to €2.55 billion, anincrease of 4.2%. Premiums written in other markets — Germany andLiechtenstein — totaled €159.03 million.