Admin Re US sale boosts Swiss Re results

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Swiss Re has reported a net income of $2.2bn in the third quarter of 2012, up from $1.3bn in the prior year quarter. The strong profit was aided by a one-off gain from the sale of the Admin Re US business, which contributed $626m to the result, reported on Friday.

“We have achieved very good financial results in a volatile environment,” said Swiss Re chief executive Michel Liès. “A low large loss burden and the one-off gain from the sale of the Admin Re US business in the quarter undoubtedly helped, but the excellent performance in P&C Reinsurance shows that our underlying business continues to perform strongly.”

The reinsurer said it was too early to make a reliable claims estimate for Superstorm Sandy, which made landfall in New Jersey on 29 October. “Estimating claims is particularly complex due to the combined impact of prolonged power outages, disruptions to public transport and damage to other infrastructure,” it noted.

Group premiums earned and fee income increased by 11 per cent in the third quarter to $6.6bn, up from $5.9bn in Q3 2011. The group’s combined ratio was 72 per cent, compared to 85.3 per cent in Q3 2011. Investment income was $1bn.

Net income in P&C reinsurance was $1bn, up from $731m. Premiums earned increased by 15 per cent to $3.3bn. The result was helped by reserve releases and a very benign claims environment in the quarter with comparatively low losses from natural catastrophes, noted Swiss Re in its earnings statement.

Reflecting the low catastrophe activity the Q3 combined ratio for P&C reinsurance was 69.3 per cent, compared to 81.5 per cent.

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