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Profits soar at property insurer

(Xinhua)

08:12, August 22, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- PICC Property and Casualty Company Limited (PICC P&C) -- China's largest general, non-life insurer -- saw its profits rise more than 23 percent in the first half of 2012 despite higher claims.

In a statement filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday, the company said net profits jumped 23.6 percent year-on-year to reach a record high of 6.53 billion yuan (1.03 billion U.S. dollars) for the period between January and June. The figures exceeded what the markets had expected.

The company paid 45.19 billion yuan in insurance compensation, compared with 42.78 billion yuan in the same period of last year.

During the six-month period, the company's operating revenue topped 100 billion yuan, up 10.7 percent from a year earlier, PICC P&C said.

By the end of June, the company's gross assets expanded 9.4 percent from the beginning of the year to 290.56 billion yuan, while its net assets rose 24.3 percent to 43.72 billion yuan.

Earnings per share stood at 0.533 yuan in the first half of the year, with a proposed dividend of 0.21 yuan per share.

Jiang Caishi, PICC P&C vice president, said the company may have to pay higher claims in the second half of the year due to natural disasters.

The share price of PICC P&C surged 7.27 percent to close at 9.44 HK dollars on Tuesday.

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