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Insurer ACE's profit rises 54% in first half of 2012


ZURICH—ACE Ltd.'s net income for the first half of 2012 grew 54.1% from the same period a year earlier to $1.30 billion, the Zurich-based property/casualty insurer announced Tuesday.

Net written premiums grew 7.7% to $7.70 billion for the first half of the year. ACE's combined ratio improved to 88.9% from 98.5% in the prior-year period.

For the second quarter, net income dropped 34.7% from that of the same period in 2011 to $328 million. Net written premiums grew 4.3% to $4.13 billion. ACE's combined ratio for the second quarter improved to 88.7% from the 92.7% posted during the same period a year earlier.

“ACE had a very strong second quarter, with excellent operating results that were ahead of plan despite a challenging and slowing global economy,” said ACE Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg in a statement.

“We are benefiting from strong, broad-based growth, both geographic and product, along with an improving P/C price environment globally,” Mr. Greenberg said. “For the first time, pricing in our international P/C operations in aggregate turned positive, whereas for our U.S. business, rates continued to rise, up 4.7% on average for the quarter.

“Drought conditions in the U.S. are impacting our crop insurance business and will affect our earnings in the second half of the year,” he said. “Crop insurance aside, we are optimistic about our revenue and earnings prospects for the balance of the year and we are well positioned to take advantage of the positive trend in P/C prices globally.”

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