Global reinsurance giant Swiss Re has reported a net income of $4.2 billion for 2012, up significantly from $2.6 billion in 2011.
The company’s P&C Re business net income rose to$ 3 billion in 2012, an increase of $1.9 billion from 2011. Swiss Re attributes the result to a combination of a 21.6% increase in net premiums earned to $12.3 billion (up from $10.1 billion in 2011), improving margins, favourable prior year reserve development and realised gains on investments.
The P&C Re combined ratio was 80.7% in 2012 (104.0% the prior year). Adjusted for expected natural catastrophes and prior year reserve releases, the combined ratio was 90.1%.
The group’s total combined ratio for all segments of its business for the year was 83.1%, which is calls “significantly better” than its projection of 94% for 2012. That includes the November 2012 claims estimate of $900 million from Hurricane Sandy, the company noted.
Its premium and fee income also grew 15% year over year, from $22.2 billion in 2011 to $25.4 billion last year. Its investment income for 2012 totalled $4.5 billion.
"This result shows that our strategy is effective and that we remain well on our way to achieving our 2011—2015 financial targets,” Michel M. Liès, Swiss Re's Group CEO (pictured) commented in a statement on the earnings.
“We have seen a particularly strong performance in our P&C Re business and our investment results were excellent,” he noted. “The underlying business performance of the Group was clearly very strong and the result included positive reserve development from prior year business and realised gains on investments. 2012 was the first full reporting year under our new corporate structure and all units have contributed positively to this very pleasing result."
The company also reported a successful January P&C renewal period.