Intrum signals higher client activity after Q2 profit rises

Intrum, Europe's biggest debt collector, reported on Thursday a 16% rise in second-quarter operating profit and forecast higher client activity for the rest of the year.

Q2 operating profit 1.56 bln SEK vs year-ago 1.35 bln

Sees business environment improving gradually rest of year

Adds details on earnings

STOCKHOLM, July 22 (Reuters) - Intrum INTRUM.ST, Europe's biggest debt collector, reported on Thursday a 16% rise in second-quarter operating profit and forecast higher client activity for the rest of the year.

Operating profit at the Swedish group came in at 1.56 billion crowns ($179.6 million), compared with 1.35 billion crowns a year earlier.

"With a backdrop of higher savings rates among European consumers, increasing optimism among our clients and high level of economic stimuli, our business environment is set to continue to gradually improve throughout the year," Chief Executive Anders Engdahl said in a statement.

Portfolio investments totalled 925 million crowns in the quarter, against 775 million crowns a year earlier. The Portfolio Investments division is Intrum's biggest by revenue.

Excluding items such as portfolio revaluations, acquisitions and items related to joint ventures, operating profit was up 19% at 1.60 billion crowns. Adjusted sales were up 14%.

($1 = 8.6873 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Helena Soderpalm and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

((anna.ringstrom@thomsonreuters.com; +46 8 502 423 74; Reuters Messaging: anna.ringstrom.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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