Sri Lanka Union Assurance March profit up 24-pct

May 01, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Union Assurance said group net profit for the March quarter went up 24 percent to 51 million rupees from a year ago. Revenues for the three months ending March 31, 2009 rose 16 percent to 1.5 billion rupees, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

Gross written premium fell three percent to 1.5 billion rupees from a year ago with premium from general insurance falling 11 percent to 907 million while gross written premium from life went up 11 percent to 615 million rupees.

Investment income rose 26 percent to 355 million in the March 2009 quarter where high interest rates generated gains from fixed income investments.

However, analysts said, a massive increase in the effective tax rate held back profit growth.

Pre-tax profits were up 62 percent to 67 million rupees from the year before.

But taxation shot up 5,550 percent to 16 million rupees, the accounts showed.

The mandatory offer by John Keells Holdings, which gained full control of UAL after buying out Carson Cumberbatch, the other main shareholder, closes on May 04, 2009.