Reinsurer Swiss Re posted a solid set of results for the first half of 2015, despite profits falling in its property and casualty (P&C) segment.
Its profits increased 11 percent to $2.3 billion in the first half of 2015, compared with $2 billion in the first half of 2014.
Swiss Re’s P&C segment reported profits of $1.3 billion for the half, compared with $1.5 billion in the same period of the prior year, driven by a higher tax impact, lower net realised gains compared to the prior year period, and market softening. The reinsurer added that this was partially offset by lower expenses.
Within the division, the combined ratio deteriorated to 88.7 percent in the first half of 2015, compared with 86.1 percent in the first half of 2014.
“The current period benefitted from a benign natural catastrophe experience and positive prior- year development, but was affected by price softening and changes in the business mix,” said the reinsurer.
Swiss Re’s life and health reinsurance division posted profits of $495 million in the first half of 2015, compared with $112 million in the first half of 2014. The reinsurer said this reflected a good operating result, combined with higher net realised gains and a positive foreign exchange impact.
Michel Liès, group chief executive officer, said: "The first half of 2015 has again put our business model to a good test. The result adds to our long track record of solid underwriting and investment performances.
“In a continued volatile capital markets and challenging pricing environment, we were able to leverage our differentiated product and service offering in combination with our global scale to help our clients succeed. This is reflected in this solid set of figures.
“Despite the ongoing uncertainty about overall economic growth in many areas of the world — as shown by continued historically low interest rates — we were able to support our underwriting expertise with a strong investment result."