Swiss Re AG reported a 17% rise in first-quarter net profit Thursday, despite a mixed performance from its various businesses.
Zurich-based Swiss Re said net profit at the reinsurance giant rose to $1.44 billion in the period, compared with $1.23 billion in the same period a year earlier. Overall premiums and fee income rose slightly to $7.56 billion, from $7.55 billion, the company said.
The firm’s return on equity was 16.1% in the quarter, up from 14.9%.
Net profit at the company’s property-and-casualty business, Swiss Re’s largest unit, fell 18%, due to “price softening” and the impact of foreign exchange, the company said. Premiums earned at the business dipped 1%, Swiss Re said.
The company’s Life and Health unit reported a sharp gain in net profit to $277 million from $64 million in the same period a year earlier. Swiss Re said this was due to “realized gains on securities and foreign exchange re-measurement”. Premiums earned and fee income at the business rose just 1%.
Swiss Re’s Admin Re business, which has been restructured recently, also posted a dramatic gain in profit, to $206 million from $48 million. The increase was the result of a mix of gains from the sale of government bonds, good market performance in the U.K. and tax credits, the company said.
Swiss Re said its overall return on investments rose to 3.9% in the period, from 3.7% last year.
Source: Market Watch