Posted on 17 May 2013 by Neilson
Zurich Insurance Group AG on Thursday reported a 7% decline in profit for the first quarter, citing a "challenging economic environment."
However, Chief Executive Martin Senn said in a statement the insurance giant remains "on track to deliver our 2013 targets."
Zurich said operating profit from general insurance, the company's biggest business, fell 6% to $807 million in the period. The company cited "persistent lower yields and less favorable development of reserves established in prior years."
The general insurance business posted a 2% increase in gross written premiums and policy fees, to $10.69 billion.
Zurich's business of selling life and pension products saw operating profit increase 6% to $308 million, thanks to lower expenses and contributions from Zurich Santander.
Overall, Zurich said net profit fell to $1.06 billion compared to $1.14 billion in the same period last year. Business operating profit was down slightly at $1.35 billion.
Analysts had expected a net profit of $1.16 billion.
Zurich posted a return on common shareholders' equity of 12.3%, compared to 14.4% in the period last year.