May 4 (Reuters) - Intact Financial Corp , a Canadian home and auto insurer, reported an 11 percent rise in net profit helped by higher investment gains, and said industry premiums are likely to go up in the next 12 months.
Commercial lines premiums are expected to grow at a low single-digit rate, with no acceleration from the pace of the last 12 months, the company said in a statement.
The Toronto-based company, which operates under banners including belairdirect, earned C$157 million, or C$1.42 a share, compared with C$141 million, or C$1.19 a share, a year ago.
On an operating basis, Intact earned C$101 million, or 91 Canadian cents a share, down from C$113 million, or 95 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.
Direct premiums written rose 3 percent in the quarter to C$943 million. Underwriting income fell 16 percent to C$58 million in the quarter. (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay; Editing by Joyjeet Das)