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UNIQA profit up in 2006, growth from CEE


VIENNA, Austria— UNIQA Group Austria reported Thursday a 31% increase in its 2006 net profit, to €175.1 million, due largely to premium growth in its Eastern and Southeastern European operations.

Industrial insurance lines remains a small portion of UNIQA's overall portfolio, amounting to less than 10% of its property/casualty business, said Hannes Bogner, UNIQA's head of finance. UNIQA is focused mostly on personal lines, he explained.

"We do some commercial and industrial business but we do not want to be a big player and take big risks there," he said.

In its annual results, UNIQA said its highest rates of growth werefrom its companies in Central and Eastern Europe and emerging European markets. The companies in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia andHerzegovina, Bulgaria and Serbia produced premium incomes of €639.8 million ($871.1 million) — a 32.7% increase from the previous year.