Insurer Zurich posts 88% rise in Q2 net profit

11th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Swiss insurer Zurich Financial Services (ZFS) Thursday said second quarter net profit had risen 88 percent to $1.3 billion, a figure that fell far short of analyst expectations.

"I am particularly pleased with the second quarter results, as our second quarter business operating profit reveals excellent underwriting performance from general insurance where we continue to see further improvements in the underlying loss ratio," ZFS chief executive officer Martin Senn said.

Analysts had however predicted a net profit of $1.8 billion.

Natural disasters took their toll on the company's bottom line, with tornados in the US costing it around $200 million and an earthquake in New Zealand making an $80 million hole in the balance sheet.

"Net capital gains on investments and impairments amounted to $561 million," a statement said, adding this "included negative asset re-valuations, impairments, and active gain realizations in equities."

Of this sum "$441 million were due to the previously reported sale of shares in Zurichs stake in New China Life Insurance Co., Ltd. reducing the Groups participation to 15 percent from 20 percent."

© 2011 AFP

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