Anglo-Swiss group Zurich Financial Services announced first half results that were largely in line with its announcements in February and March that earnings would decrease this year. It posted a 1st half normalized net income of $922 million against $1.1 billion for the comparable period last year, a decrease of more than 8 percent.
The company’s shares plunged last February when it announced lowered profit expectations of around 5.5 percent. However the 1st half results are in line with current estimates that Zurich will earn between $1.8 and $2 billion this year.
Chairman Rolf Hueppi indicated that the company had anticipated that it would have a more difficult operating market this year, and pointed out the depressed equity markets, declining interest rates, the continued strength of the dollar, and generally weaker economies, as the principal factors contributing to the companies lowered expectations.
He also said that the previously announced restructuring and cost savings were being implemented, and that Zurich was fully embarked on plans to spin-off subsidiary Zurich Re as a separated company. The planned initial public offering is scheduled for later this year. Its
main weakness is currently in its asset management operations. Hueppi confirmed that the company was “exploring strategic alternatives.”|”zurich, meets, lowered, ist, half, forecasts
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