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Swiss Re quarterly profit up despite Tianjin port explosion

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Swiss Re Ltd. on Thursday reported a 14% increase in its net income to $1.40 billion for the third quarter of 2015, posting strong property/casualty reinsurance results despite the impact of the Tianjin explosion in August.

Property/casualty reinsurance operations for the quarter posted $1.01 billion in net income, a 20.3% increase over the prior-year period, and a 78% combined ratio, vs. 76.7% for the comparable period a year ago.

Group Chief Financial Officer David Cole said during an analyst presentation on Thursday that Swiss Re's current net pretax loss estimate for the explosion in the Chinese port city of Tianjin is $235 million.

However, “This was a very strong quarter for P&C reinsurance,” said Mr. Cole. “The underwriting performance remained very good, reflecting the quality of the portfolio, and the reported combined ratio benefited from a benign cat environment and favorable prior-year developments.”

For the nine-month period, the company reported a 12.4% increase in net income to $3.66 billion. Net income for property/casualty reinsurance was $2.27 billion, a 4.7% decrease. Swiss Re posted an 84.8% combined ratio, vs. 82.7% for the first nine months of 2014.