Zurich Insurance Group AG (ZURVY: Quote) Thursday reported 19 percent decline in profit for the second quarter, compared to last year that included a sale gain. For the first half of the year, profit climbed 13 percent, amid growth in business volume from Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
Zurich's Chief Executive Officer Martin Senn said, ''We have again achieved strong levels of profitability, a very good result in the challenging environment. Profitability is driven by the disciplined approach to underwriting and our continued focus on the insurance products that enable us to maintain a resilient performance in mature markets."
For the quarter, net income attributable to shareholders slid to $1.08 billion from $1.33 billion, while business operating profit dropped 12 percent to $1.13 billion. In the previous year, profit had benefited from realized gains of $441 million before tax on the sale of shares in New China Life Insurance Co., Ltd.
Total group business volumes advanced 4 percent to $17.87 billion. Business volumes comprise gross written premiums, policy fees, insurance deposits and management fees generated within General Insurance, Global Life and Farmers businesses.
For the six months ended June 30, net income attributable to shareholders climbed 13 percent to $2.22 billion from $1.97 billion.
Business operating profit was $2.51 billion, up 17 percent from last year. Total group business volumes climbed 7 percent from last year.
In the General Insurance, business operating profit jumped 46 percent to to $1.6 billion, reflecting disciplined underwriting and expense management. Combined ratio improved by 4.4 points to 94.9 percent, benefiting from an improved underlying loss ratio and less severe catastrophes compared to last year. The segment's gross written premiums and policy fees edged up 1 percent.
Global Life reported business operating profit of $651 million, down 11 percent from last year, due to lower interest rates affecting the group's traditional in-force book and lower deferrals of acquisition expenses. The business posted an 11 percent growth in gross written premiums, policy fees and insurance deposits to $14.7 billion.
The Farmers segment reported business operating profit of $601 million, down 18 percent from last year due to the loss from Farmers Re business amid weather-related losses. Farmers Re gross written premiums and policy fees climbed 49 percent to $2.211 billion.
Among peers, Swiss Reinsurance Co. (SSREY.PK) said early this month that second-quarter profit declined sharply, hurt by the sale of Admin Re US business. The company said it continues its focus on profitable growth, even as current economic conditions and low interest rates are creating challenges.
Zurich Insurance stock is down 0.80 percent in morning trade in Zurich at 224.40 Swiss francs.
| || |
| To receive FREE breaking news email alerts for Zurich Insurance Group AG and others in your portfolio|
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org