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Zurich Insurance H1 BOP Climbs, Plans CHF 1.8 Bln Buyback; On Track To Beat All Targets

Zurich Insurance Group (ZURVY) reported Thursday that its first-half net income attributable to shareholders went up 1 percent to $2.20 billion from last year's $2.19 billion, despite adverse effects from financial markets.

Group business operating profit or BOP climbed 25 percent to $3.39 billion from $2.71 billion a year ago. Zurich Insurance reported the highest first-half business operating profit since 2008 and the second highest ever, with all regions and business lines contributing to the growth.

Property & Casualty or P&C BOP went up 32 percent to $2.06 billion, and Life BOP grew 13 percent to $903 million.

P&C gross written premiums and policy fees increased 8 percent to $23.80 billion The growth was 13 percent on a like-for-like basis.

Life gross written premiums, policy fees and insurance deposit fell 6 percent to $13.66 billion.

Further, the company said it plans a 1.8 billion Swiss francs share buyback to offset the expected earnings dilution from the agreed sale of the Germany life back book. The buyback is expected to commence in the coming months, subject to market conditions and regulatory approvals.

Looking ahead, Group Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco said, "We are on track to beat all our targets for the second successive three-year cycle."

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