November 12, 2008 / 11:55 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-ING Canada Q3 profit beats estimates by a cent

* Underwriting income doubles

* Says profitability of industry to stay under pressure

Nov 12 (Reuters) - Home and auto insurer ING Canada Inc IIC.TO posted a third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates by a cent as underwriting income more than doubled.

Net operating income rose to C$106.4 million, from C$95.4 million a year earlier.

Underwriting income rose to C$61.9 million, from C$29.0 million for the same period a year ago.

Net income for the quarter fell to C$57.3 million ($47.6 million), or 47 Canadian cents a share, from C$92.0 million, or 74 Canadian cents a share, in the year-ago period.

The company said the decline was due to realized losses of C$62 million on investment related to turbulent financial market conditions.

“During the quarter we reduced the impact of the volatility of the capital markets on our balance sheet by decreasing our common share portfolio by C$260 million and reinvesting the proceeds in Canadian government treasury bills,” Chief Executive Charles Brindamour said.

The company also said it suspended its share repurchase plan in late September due to the market volatility.

The profitability of the industry will continue to be under pressure as a result of increases in claims and weaker capital market conditions, it said in a statement. Shares of the Toronto-based company closed at C$31.83 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1=1.205 Canadian Dollar Reporting by Amiteshwar Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Amitha Rajan

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