PZU Profit Tops Estimates as Polish Insurer Plans Extra Dividend

PZU SA, the Polish state-controlled insurer that announced plans to pay an advanced dividend yesterday, reported profit that topped analysts’ estimates.

Net income was 837.3 million zloty ($264 million) in the second quarter, compared with 894.6 million zloty a year earlier, the Warsaw-based company said in a regulatory statement today. That exceeded the 794.6 million-zloty mean estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

PZU, Poland’s biggest insurer, plans to pay out 1.73 billion zloty, or 20 zloty a share, in an advanced dividend from 2013 profit and 1.3 billion zloty in extraordinary dividends for 2014 and 2015, it said in a statement late yesterday. The company, which is seeking to reduce its excess capital, plans to finance the payouts from the sale of 3 billion zloty of bonds, it said.

The company this year paid 2.56 billion zloty as a dividend, or its entire 2012 unconsolidated profit, the maximum amount allowed by the Polish financial market regulator.

The Polish government, which has a 35 percent stake in PZU and seeks cash to plug a growing budget deficit, last week increased its target for 2013 dividends from state-controlled companies to about 6.5 billion zloty from 5 billion zloty.

The Treasury Ministry has gained 5.5 billion zloty in dividends this year, it said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News on Aug. 21.

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