SWISS Re delivers a 17% rise in 1Q 2015 net income, to USD 1.4 billion

13 May 2015 — Vlad BOLDIJAR
SWISS Re reported a net income of USD 1.4 billion for the first quarter of 2015 and ROE of 16.1%, "driven by profitability across all Business Units and strong investment results", while the value of earned premiums and fee income increased at constant foreign exchange rates by 7%, to USD 7.6 billion. The investment result was USD 1.1 billion (vs. USD 1.1 billion in Q1 2014), while the annualized return on investments increased to 3.9% (vs. 3.7%).

"We have nine months until the end of our financial target period 2011-2015 and we are on track to deliver on the commitments we made to our shareholders. Despite a challenging overall environment, the insurance market offers ample opportunities and we remain well placed to address the significant levels of underinsurance in the world today. In addition, our data shows that there were more natural catastrophes in 2014 than in any other year on our records - yet, over two-thirds of the world's assets do not yet have any financial protection from these events ", said Michel M. LIES, SWISS Re's Group Chief Executive Officer.

By divisions, the P&C Re reported a net income of USD 808 million (vs. USD 990 million in Q1 2014): "These were offset by price softening and less positive reserve developments than in the prior-year period".

Premiums earned during the first quarter decreased slightly to USD 3.77 billion compared to the USD 3.81 billion in the first quarter of 2014, while the combined ratio was 84.4% (vs. 79.2%), "benefiting from a lower than expected level of natural catastrophe losses and reserve releases".

The L&H Re division reported net income of USD 277 million (vs USD 64 million in Q1 2014), while the value of premiums earned and fee income was steady at USD 2.7 billion.

CORPORATE SOLUTIONS' net income was USD 167 million (vs. USD 80 million in Q1 2014), "reflecting a continued strong business performance across a diversified portfolio. The result was also supported by the absence of any large natural catastrophe events during the first quarter".

Premiums earned grew 6% to USD 882 million (vs. USD 830 million): "All regions contributed to the increase, with the highest growth seen in Latin America and Europe".

The Business Unit's combined ratio was 87.8% (vs. 95.2% in the prior-year period), "driven by lower losses in property and specialty lines".

At the same time, SWISS Re pointed out that "as part of its High Growth Markets initiative, CORPORATE SOLUTIONS has obtained a license to operate in South Africa, a further step to expand its footprint in these markets."

ADMIN Re delivered a net income of USD 206 million in the first quarter of 2015 (vs. USD 48 million in Q1 2014). "The increase was due to higher realized gains from asset sales, favorable UK linked market performance and positive tax effects in the UK".

Gross cash generation was USD 52 million for the quarter (vs. USD 202 million). "The comparatively higher 2014 figure resulted from a one-off impact arising from the finalization of the UK 2013 statutory result".

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