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Vienna Insurance Group profits up in Q1


VIENNA, Austria— Wiener Städtische Versicherung A.G., the Vienna Insurance Group, reported Monday that its before tax profits in the first quarter totaled €100.73 million ($136.37 million), an increase of €27.82 million ($37.66 million), or 38.2%, compared to last year's first quarter results.

The Group, which attributed the growth in part to its Central and Eastern European operations, said it already reached the €2 billion ($2.71 billion) mark in Group premiums after three months.

"This is the first time in our history that we surpass the €2 billion premium mark in one quarter. This effectively demonstrates the dynamics of our business, which especially in CEE consistently posts high growth levels," said Günter Geyer, the Vienna Insurance Group's chief executive officer, in a statement.

As a result the company is adjusting its profit forecast for this year and coming years, he explained.

" For the year 2008, we can for the first time announce a target of €470 to 480 million and therefore we want to achieve the result planned for 2009 already one year earlier. Our profit target for 2009 is considerably above half a billon euros," Mr. Geyer said.