Life Insurance

Zurich declares its highest first-half operating profit surge in 14 years

Mario Greco, Zurich Group chief executive officer, praised the results, saying they show “the solidity of our business and the value of our mid-term transformation.”

“The P&C business reported today its best-ever combined ratio, with continued robust top-line growth. Our life business also continued to produce excellent results with one of the strongest ever performances for operating profit despite the adverse impact of capital markets and headwinds from currency movements,” Greco added.

Net income after tax attributable to shareholders was $2.2 billion, up 1% over the prior-year period, despite adverse effects from financial markets. The increase in BOP was largely offset by negative mark-to-market effects, Zurich said.

Zurich noted the impact of COVID-19 continues to decline, with pandemic-related losses in its life business falling to $26 million from $137 million, and in Farmers life to $32 million from $42 million. Meanwhile, benefits due to reduced claims frequency in the P&C business were “immaterial” compared with $109 million in the prior-year period.

The group continues to focus on optimizing its capital allocation. In the first half, Zurich announced agreements to sell two legacy traditional life insurance back books in Italy and Germany.

“We are on track to beat all our targets for the second successive three-year cycle,” said Greco. “This is particularly remarkable because the last three years have brought unprecedented and unexpected challenges. These results show our agility and our commitment to deliver results, no matter what happens in the markets.”

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