February 12, 2020 / 8:43 AM / 13 days ago

UPDATE 1-Mapfre's annual profit jumps 15% as Latam growth offsets weak reinsurance

(Adds details, background)

MADRID, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Spanish insurer Mapfre reported on Wednesday a 15% rise in net profit for 2019, beating analysts’ expectations and helped by strong growth in life and consumer insurance in Latin America.

That offset a weak reinsurance business last year, which had prompted Mapfre to issue a profit warning in December.

On Wednesday the insurer said it booked a 131 million euro ($143 million) charge on its reinsurance business in the fourth quarter because of costs related to protests in Chile and storms in Japan.

Its shares were up 1.3% after its results. They had lost more than 7% since the profit warning in mid December.

The company said its net profit rose to 609 million euros in 2019, from 529 million euros in 2018.

Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected an average net profit of 583 million euros.

Mapfre said net profit in Latin America rose 37%, lifted by activity in Brazil, Mexico, Peru and other countries.

It did not give a break down of fourth quarter earnings. ($1 = 0.9164 euros) (Reporting by Inti Landauro, Editing by Louise Heavens and Susan Fenton)

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