Insurer Swiss Re’s profits spike higher

Insurer Swiss Re's profits spike higher
CEO Michel Liès (Photo: Swiss Re)
Reinsurance giant Swiss Re posted a third-quarter net profit of $2.2 billion (2.08 billion francs) on Thursday, up sharply from $1.3 billion for the same period last year.

The results beat analysts' expectations of a net profit of $1.3 billion.

Swiss Re also said it was too soon to put a figure on the cost of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

"Estimating claims is particularly complex due to the combined impact of prolonged power outages, disruptions to public transport and damage to other infrastructure" after the hurricane hit the United States east coast on October 29th, Swiss Re said in a statement.

No "reliable claims estimate at this time" was possible because of these factors, the company said.

Swiss Re had achieved "very good financial results in a volatile environment," CEO Michel Liès said.

Group premiums increased by 11 percent to $6.6 billion against $5.9 billion in the same period a year earlier, the firm said.

In addition, the group's combined ratio — which measures whether the company pays out more in claims and expenses than it receives in premiums — was 72 percent compared with 85.3 percent a year earlier.

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