DENMARK - Major Danish pension fund Sampension reported a 14% pre-tax profit on investment for its with-profits scheme for the first half, bouncing back from a 3% loss in the same period last year due largely to bonds and Danish equities.

Sampension's with-profits scheme accounts for the bulk of its premiums.

Investment profit for the smaller but growing market-link product rose to 3.4% in the six-month period compared with 1.2% in the first half of 2009.

Holdings of private equity and corporate bonds had each ended the period with profit of 13%, the fund said.

While contributions to the with-profits scheme slipped to DKK2.5bn (€335m) from DKK2.9bn, the market-link product saw a near doubling of contributions at DKK1bn against a reported DKK570mn a year ago.

Hasse Jørgensen, managing director, said: "Falling interest rates have been a plus for our profit in the first half of 2010.

"While Danish shares did well in the period, the international equities markets were marked by a big upturn."

He said this proved how important it was to have a spread of investments.

It also showed that Sampension had got its strategy right in having contributions to profit from private equity and other alternative investments, he said.

"One example is our corporate bonds, which have regained their values from before the financial crisis, with the holdings producing double-digit profits both in the half year and over the whole of the last year," he said.

Sampension manages three labour-market pension funds, including the Pension Fund for the Danish Municipalities (Sampension KP Livsforsikring), and had total assets of DKK111bn at the end of June.