Sri Lanka Eagle Insurance profits up 552-pct

May 16, 2009 (LBO) – Profits of Sri Lanka’s Eagle Insurance, a unit of Aviva, increased 552.2 percent to 98.3 million rupees in the March 2009 quarter on strong investment income growth, accounts released to the stock exchange show. Gross written premium increased 2.0 percent to 1,547 million rupees, re-insurance premiums fell 7.0 percent to 290.6 million increasing net written premium 4.4 percent to 1,256 million rupees.

Eagle paid 636.6 million rupees in claims, up from 613 million rupees.

“The growth in profits is mainly contributed by the improved underwriting results of the general insurance business and the higher investment income,” chairman Craig Brackenrig said in a statement.

“The Board believes that these results represent an encouraging performance considering the challenging macro economic conditions faced by the business and the country.”

Investment income rose to 659.0 million rupees from 403.6 million rupees. Sri Lanka’s risk free bond yields peaked around 20 percent in December 2008 amidst a balance of payments crisis. Rates have since been cut.

The March quarter accounts do not include the contribution from life business, which is calculated annually, the company said.

Eagle had net a