Swiss Re reported FY2016 net income of USD 3.6 billion and proposes new share buy-back

23 February 2017 — Vlad BOLDIJAR
Global reinsurer Swiss Re announced its FY2016 net income was down to USD 3.6 billion (USD 4.6 billion for 2015), while the Group premiums earned and fee income increased by 10.0% y-o-y to USD 33.2 billion. Swiss Re's Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting a higher dividend of CHF 4.85 (vs. CHF 4.6) and the authorisation of a new public share buy-back programme of up to CHF 1.0 billion.

Per business lines, P&C Re net income for 2016 declined by USD 0.9 billion to USD 2.1 billion, due "a higher large loss burden compared to last year, and a lower contribution from positive prior-year development". Swiss Re mentioned that the year was impacted by a number of large losses, as the wildfires in Canada, the earthquake in New Zealand, and Hurricane Matthew in the US.

P&C Re net premiums earned increased 12.7% to USD 17.0 billion (vs USD 15.1 billion), while the combined ratio was up to 93.5% (vs 85.7%) "after a higher burden from large losses, a lower contribution from positive prior-year development, and the continued price softening of the market".

L&H Re net income declined to USD 807 million in 2016 (vs. USD 968 million in 2015), "mainly due to lower performance in the UK life and health portfolio". Premiums earned and fee income for 2016 increased by 8.6% to USD 11.5 billion (vs. USD 10.6 billion), "mainly from transactions in the Americas, successful renewals, and new business deals in Asia".

Corporate Solutions' net income was USD 135 million (vs. USD 357 million in 2015). "The 2016 result was impacted by continued pricing pressures and large man-made losses, mainly in North America, offset by lower-than-expected natural catastrophe losses, income from investment activities and realised gains from insurance in derivative form". Net premiums earned was up by 3.7% y-o-y to USD 3.5 billion, while the combined ratio increased to 101.1% in 2016 (vs. 93.2%).

Life Capital reported net income of USD 638 million in 2016, compared to USD 424 million in 2015. Premiums earned and fee income rose 5.7% y-o-y to USD 1.2 billion (vs. USD 1.1 billion).

"We report a good net income for 2016, despite navigating a difficult environment for quite some time now. Amid softening market conditions, we saw minimal global economic growth and continued low interest rates last year, on top of significant political developments", said Christian Mumenthaler, Chief Executive Officer, Swiss Re.

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