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Swiss Re swings to 9-month profit despite big claims

Christian Mumenthaler

(Reuters) — Reinsurance company Swiss Re said Friday it swung to a better-than-expected net profit in the first nine months despite big claims from major storms on both sides of the Atlantic.

The company's net profit in the reported period came in at $1.3 billion, from a net loss of $691 million in the year-earlier period. Analysts had expected less than $1 billion in profit, according to a consensus forecast.

The Zurich-based company attributed the beat to strong underwriting results in its property/casualty reinsurance division and its arm to protect businesses. Its life and health reinsurance division lost money due to COVID 19-related claims.

Last year, Swiss Re posted its first loss since the 2008 financial crisis, but it had said it expected to return to profit for this financial year.

The results give "us confidence for the remainder of the year and into 2022, with all our businesses well-positioned to continue their strong performance," CEO Christian Mumenthaler said in a statement.

Claims from large natural catastrophes — including Hurricane Ida in the United States and floods in Germany and elsewhere — totaled $1.7 billion in the period, a figure that was higher than the company had initially expected.