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Swiss Re's profit edges upward in second quarter


Swiss Re Ltd. reported an $802 million profit for the second quarter of 2014, a 2% increase over the same period last year, the Zurich-based reinsurer said Wednesday.

For its property/casualty reinsurance business, Swiss Re reported a profit of $553 million for the period, up 22% from the second quarter of 2013. The combined ratio for the business improved to 93.5% compared with 101.1% in the second quarter of 2013.

Premiums earned jumped 12% to $3.56 billion, in part, because of “the expiry of a major quota share agreement at the end of 2012 and large Asia and Americas transactions written at the end of 2013. Active management of the equity portfolio also drove these strong results,” according to a Swiss Re statement.

For the first half of 2014, Swiss Re reported a profit of $2.03 billion, down 6.4% from the first half of 2013, largely driven by lower profits in its life and health reinsurance business.

For property/casualty reinsurance, Swiss Re reported a profit of $1.54 billion, up 5.4% compared with the first half of 2013.

In a statement, Michel M. Lies, group CEO of Swiss Re, said the reinsurer was pleased with its results for the first half of the year.

“We see the insurance market generally softening,” he said. “Thanks to our leading position, we continue to take advantage of opportunities as they arise — for example in high growth markets — and actively manage our overall portfolio,” he added.