Poland’s PZU Reports 33% Gain in Profit on Premiums, Cost Cuts

PZU SA, Poland’s largest insurer, said first-half profit climbed by a third after boosting premiums and cutting costs.

Net income rose to 1.55 billion zloty ($536 million) from 1.17 billion zloty a year earlier, the Warsaw-based firm said in a regulatory statement today. That matched the 1.5 billion-zloty average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Premiums rose 5.2 percent to 7.67 billion zloty at the firm that became central Europe’s largest publicly traded insurer by market value following an initial share sale in May last year. PZU cut costs related to computer systems and administration.

Increased premiums helped PZU counter a 14 percent drop in investment income to 1.08 billion zloty after capital was cut by last year’s record dividend payout.

PZU’s largest rival in central Europe, Vienna Insurance Group AG, is considering whether to bid for the Polish insurer that KBC Groep NV has put up for sale, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Peter Hagen said on Aug. 18.