Mapfre 2012 Profit Slides on Provisions for Bankia; Shares Drop

Mapfre SA, Spain’s biggest insurer, said profit last year fell 31 percent, missing analysts’ estimates, as it booked provisions to cover assets including a stake in nationalized lender Bankia SA. The shares slumped.

Net income slid to 665.7 million euros ($900.4 million) from 963 million euros in 2011, the Madrid-based company said in a filing to regulators today. Earnings compared with the average 897 million-euro estimate of 13 analysts who provided figures within the last 28 days.

Mapfre is relying on growth in markets in Latin America such as Brazil to help compensate for its business in Spain, where premiums are shrinking due to a recession. The insurer said it acted “prudently” to clean up its balance sheet by setting aside the 404.8 million euros in provisions to cover real estate and financial assets, along with stakes in Bankia and Italy’s Societa Cattolica di Assicurazioni SCRL.

The company dropped 2.6 percent to 2.17 euros at 12:58 p.m. in Madrid, the biggest decline on the 33-member Stoxx 600 Insurance Index, which lost 0.5 percent.

Mapfre increased premiums last year by 10 percent to 21.6 billion euros and revenue by 7.5 percent to 25.3 billion euros, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at cpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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