UPDATE 2-Canada ice storm slams Intact Financial profit

Wed Feb 5, 2014 10:56am EST
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* Q4 operating profit C$1.05 per share vs est C$1.26

* Underwriting profit halved by winter storm in Dec

* Shares down 1.1 percent

By Cameron French

TORONTO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Intact Financial Corp, Canada's largest property and casualty insurer, reported a larger-than-expected drop in fourth-quarter profit as a winter ice storm hurt underwriting results.

Shares of Intact, which also raised its quarterly dividend by 9 percent, fell 1.1 percent on the results.

Toronto-based Intact said net income fell to C$107 million ($97 million), or 77 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from C$177 million, or C$1.29 per share, a year earlier.

On an operating basis, Intact earned C$1.05 per share, which fell short of analysts' estimates for C$1.26 a share.

Underwriting profit fell by more than half to C$67 million, due largely to a major ice storm that blanketed central and Atlantic Canada in December, causing widespread damage, power failures and disruptions to travel and business.   Continued...