Swiss Re, Q1 2019: P&C losses affected total net income

Swiss Re reported a net income of USD 429 million for the first quarter of 2019, reflecting high L&H Re performance and strong investment results, but the large losses from property and casualty (P&C) businesses impacted the overall results.

Main figures highlights (Consolidated Group, total)

  • Total net premiums earned: USD 8,775 million (+5.5%, compared to Q1 2018 results), of which:
    • P&C Reinsurance: USD 4,238 million (+10.9%)
    • L&H Reinsurance: USD 3,091 million (-6.0%)
    • Corporate Solutions: USD 1,020 million (+12.3%)
    • Life Capital: USD 426 million (+41.5%)
  • Total net income: USD 429 million (-6.1%), of which:
    • P&C Reinsurance: USD 13 million (-96.2%)
    • L&H Reinsurance: USD 328 million (+63.2%)
    • Corporate Solutions: - USD 55 million (-234%)
    • Life Capital: USD 7 million (+133%)
  • Return on equity (ROE): 5.9% (5.6% in Q1 2018)
  • Return on investments (ROI): 4.5% (2.2% in Q1 2018)
  • Running yield: 2.9% (2.8% in Q1 2018)

Swiss Re net premiums earned for the first quarter of 2019 increased by 5.5% to USD 8.8 billion year-on-year, reflecting growth in all Business Units. At constant exchange rates, the increase was 9.4%

The company reported net income of USD 429 million for the first quarter of 2019, supported by the L&H Re activity and strong investment result. Claims from large natural catastrophes and man-made losses, in addition to a significant amount of late claims from prior-year events, have adversely impacted the result for the quarter. P&C Re net income reached USD 13 million and the combined ratio was 110.3% for the first quarter.

Swiss Re's investment portfolio generated a very strong ROI of 4.5%, driven by significant market value gains from equity securities. This compares to an ROI of 2.2% for the first quarter of 2018. The fixed income running yield was 2.9%.

Christian MUMENTHALER, Swiss Re's Group CEO, said:

"While our property and casualty businesses were affected by significant large losses, Life & Health Re continued on its successful and steady path - a sign of the strength of our diversified business model. Another encouraging sign was the ongoing and accelerating improvement in the overall pricing environment for the property and casualty businesses, especially in loss affected markets. This continued positive momentum in renewals gives us confidence in our outlook."

John DACEY, Swiss Re's Group CFO, added:

"We are pleased with our premium growth and the very strong investment result in the first quarter of 2019. We continue to have an industry-leading capital position, providing us with high financial flexibility to support profitable growth. On Monday, we will start to return excess capital to our shareholders through the first tranche of our share buy-back programme - a clear commitment to our capital management priorities."

Full report can be found here: Swiss Re first quarter 2019 report

About Swiss Re

The Swiss Re Group is one of the world's leading providers of reinsurance, insurance and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer, working to make the world more resilient. It anticipates and manages risk - from natural catastrophes to climate change, from ageing populations to cyber crime. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1863, the Swiss Re Group operates through a network of around 80 offices globally.


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