Zurich Financial Reports Record Year Despite Hurricanes; Net Profit Up 30%

February 17, 2006

Swiss insurance giant Zurich Financial Services posted a 30 percent increase in its 2005 net profits to $3.2 billion, despite heavy charges for last year’s record hurricane season.

The full-year profit figure compared with $2.5 billion in 2004. It was up thanks to good results across the board, Zurich Financial said.

“We are reporting a record performance following the insurance industry’s most severe natural catastrophe year on record,” said Chief Executive James Schiro. “It was achieved on the basis of our commitment to operational excellence and supported by our well-diversified portfolio and strong balance sheet.”

The company does not break out quarterly figures from its full year result.

Zurich Financial’s board is proposing a payout of 7 Swiss francs ($5.35) per share, compared with a dividend of 4 francs in 2004.

“I am confident that we have a solid platform that will allow us to pursue sustainable profitable growth and attractive shareholder returns going forward,” Schiro said.

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