Swiss Re returns to profit despite large loss events

Christian Mumenthaler, CEO, said the firm “continues to reap the benefits of our strategic underwriting actions” and sees opportunities across all businesses to deploy capital at attractive returns

Swiss Re Group has revealed its group net incomes swung to a profit of $1.3bn (£942mn) in the first nine months of 2021, from a net loss of $691mn (£500mn) a year earlier, despite “significant” large-loss events, particularly in the third quarter. 

The firm attributed its strong performance to an increase in its Property and Casualty Reinsurance (P&C Re) net incomes which increased to $1.5bn amid a strong combined ratio of 97.5% as impacts from large-loss events were contained by “disciplined underwriting”.

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The firm’s capital position remained very strong, with a group SST ratio of 234% as of 1 July 2021.

According to Swiss, net premiums earned and fee income for the group rose by 5.9% to $32bn (£23bn) in the first nine months of 2021 compared with the same period last year, with all businesses reporting increases.

Swiss Re said it achieved a return on investments of 3.0% in the first nine months of 2021, driven by “recurring income as well as equity valuation gains”, combined with no credit impairments.

The firm’s life and health reinsurance (L&H Re) net loss narrowed to $62mn (£44.9mn), excluding COVID-19 losses, net income of $899mn (£652mn)

Chris Mumenthaler, CEO of Swiss Re Group, said: “Thanks to the Group’s sustained focus on portfolio quality and disciplined underwriting, our property and casualty businesses delivered excellent results in the first nine months of 2021. At the same time, we were able to support communities impacted by natural catastrophes and the COVID-19 pandemic.“

John Dacey, CFO at Swiss Re Group, added: “ We are also pleased with the underlying performance of L&H Re, which offset the impact from the pandemic, resulting in a reported profit for the second consecutive quarter.”

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