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Swiss Re Reports First-Quarter Profit Based on Higher P/C Premium Income

Posted on 07 May 2009

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The world's second-biggest reinsurer, Swiss Reinsurance Co., returned to profit in the first quarter on higher premiums after a record loss in the previous three months.

Net income fell to 150 million Swiss francs ($132 million) from 624 million francs a year earlier, the Zurich-based company said in a statement today. The reinsurer reported a loss of 1.75 billion francs in the fourth quarter.

Swiss Re increased premium income from property and casualty, its biggest business, by 5 percent. The company, which is cutting more than a 1,000 jobs this year after turning to Warren Buffett for a 3 billion-franc injection, expects to generate 1 billion francs in capital over the next 12 months from cutting investment portfolio risk.

“We are pleased to report that Swiss Re was able to return to profit in the first quarter of 2009," said CEO Stefan Lippe. "More importantly, we strengthened our capital base and made progress on our plans to reduce risk. The results show that even in this challenging economic environment Swiss Re’s earnings power in its core business remains strong.”