May 1, 2014 3:54 am JST

NKSJ Holdings seen cutting fiscal 2013 profit forecast

TOKYO -- Japanese insurer NKSJ Holdings Inc. has decided to trim its net profit forecast for the year ended March 31 to around 45 billion yen ($434 million) from the current projection of 72 billion yen, following unexpectedly large payouts related to heavy snowfall.

     The revised figure, to be announced as early as this week, still represents profit growth over the previous year.

     In November, NKSJ Holdings had raised the forecast to 72 billion yen from 34 billion yen. But that was before two snowstorms centered on parts of eastern Japan this February led to a spike in claims, including those for automotive and fire insurance.

     While NKSJ Holdings had announced that payouts stood at 38.7 billion yen as of mid-April, the sum is expected to ultimately rise to around 70 billion yen.

     Thanks to premium hikes, the core car insurance business is seen generating more revenue.

     The company plans to maintain its focus on shareholder returns and continue with stock buybacks.