Swiss Re Q1 Net Profit Rebounds from Q1 2011 to $1.1 Billion

May 4, 2012

Swiss Re reported a very strong first-quarter with overall net income of $1.141 billion in comparison to a loss of $665 million in Q1 2011. “This result was driven by strong underwriting, good investment performance and lower than expected major natural catastrophe claims in the period,” said the bulletin.

All three of the reinsurer’s main business units – Reinsurance, Corporate Solutions and Admin Re® – contributed positively to the Group’s results.

Premiums earned increased by 21.7 percent to $6.2 billion compared to $5.1 billion in Q1 2011, as a result of the recent strong renewals. Return on investment was 4.0 percent for the Group as a whole, up from 3.9 percent in the same period last year, despite a market environment that continued to be volatile.

The return on equity for the first quarter was 15.3 percent, with a positive contribution from all Business Units. The Group’s combined ratio was an 84.9 percent, a good deal better that the 163.7 percent for the first three months of 2011.

Michel M. Liès, Group CEO, commented: “We had a good start to the year with a very strong result in the first quarter. This reflects our ability to perform and grow as prices rise and an excellent asset management result.

“But we also benefited from an absence of major claims from natural catastrophes. All Business Units contributed to this result. Going forward, we will now seek to reap the benefits of our cycle management, with a focus on profitable growth.”

In Swiss Re’s core non-life reinsurance sector the company reported net income of $660 million, compared to a $632 million loss in Q1 2011, due, it said, “to benign natural catastrophe experience.”

Net premiums earned increased by 38.2 percent to $3.1 billion in the first quarter of 2012 from $2.2 billion last year, driven by “the successful January 2012 renewals, which included a substantial contribution from large solvency relief transactions.” The combined ratio was 85.0 percent down from 171.0 percent in Q1 2011.

Life and health reinsurance also delivered solid results with net income of $209 million, compared to $14 million last year. Swiss Re said this business “benefited from an increase in premiums and fee income, as well as a favorable mortality and morbidity experience compared to expectations.

“Given the current challenging market environment, Swiss Re sees opportunities in both P&C and L&H Reinsurance to offer capacity for capital relief, adverse development, structured life and large natural catastrophe covers.”

The complete report and information on accessing the earnings conference call may be obtained on the company’s website.

Source: Swiss Re

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