Insurer Zurich posts 13% slump in 2010 net profit

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Swiss insurer Zurich Financial Services on Thursday posted a 13 percent slump in annual net profit to 3.43 billion dollars, hurt by losses from Chile's earthquake and floods in Australia.

Nevertheless, the earnings were better than expected by analysts polled by financial news agency AWP, who forecast profit of 3.38 billion dollars.

Zurich's general insurance unit reported that business operating profit plunged 23 percent due to an "above-average frequency of loss events, such as earthquakes, weather-related losses and higher levels of large losses, compounded by lower investment income."

These included the earthquake in Chile, which cost the insurer pre-tax losses of 175 million dollars and floods in Australia, which are estimated to cost around 100 million dollars.

© 2011 AFP

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