Swiss Re, 1H2019: USD 953 million net income, supported by reinsurance and investment activity

For the first six months of 2019, Swiss Re reported a total net income of USD 953 million, 5.3% smaller y-o-y due to large losses in Corporate Solutions branch, lightened by the positive growths in reinsurance segments.

Swiss Re continued to focus on its capital management priorities by deploying excess capital through profitable business growth and by returning capital to shareholders. "The current public share buy-back programme of up to CHF 1.0 billion purchase value, which started on 6 May 2019, is well on track," said the company.

Christian MUMENTHALER, Swiss Re's Group Chief Executive Officer, said:

"Our half-year results underline the strength of our Reinsurance franchise in both the P&C and L&H segments. We are confident that our strategic position in terms of our large scale, global portfolio, diversification with L&H business and client access will continue to drive profitable growth, as evidenced by the positive renewals momentum we have achieved year to date."

1H 2019 financial highlights (compared to 1H 2018) - unaudited

  • Consolidated net premiums earned: USD 18,160 million (+7.9%), of which:
    • P&C Reinsurance: USD 8,719 million (+13.2%)
    • L&H Reinsurance: USD 6,284 million (-1.6%)
    • Corporate Solutions: USD 2,063 million (+7.6%)
    • Life Capital: USD million (+33.1%)
  • Total net income (/loss): USD953 million (-5.3%), of which:
    • P&C Reinsurance: USD 771 million (+2.5%)
    • L&H Reinsurance: USD 459 million (+15.3%)
    • Corporate Solutions: USD -403 million
    • Life Capital: USD 5 million (-85.3%)
  • Return on investments: 4.2% (+1.6 pp.)
  • Return on equity: 6.6% (+0.3 pp.)
  • Combined ratio:
    • P&C Reinsurance: 100.5% (+7.6 pp.)
    • Corporate Solutions: 132.8% (+31.1 pp.)

Property and Casualty (P&C) Reinsurance - 1H2019/YTD

At the end of first half-year of 2019, P&C Reinsurance net income grew by 2.5% y-o-y, reaching USD 771 million. Net premiums earned increased by 13.2%, reaching a total volume of USD 8,719 million, evolution driven by natural catastrophe business and large transactions.

The combined ratio increased to 100.5% (92.9% in 1H2018), influenced by natural catastrophes (Typhoon Jebi in the first quarter, storm losses in Australia) and man-made losses (Ethiopian Airlines crash, the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX fleet).

Life and Health (L&H) Reinsurance - 1H2019/YTD

The net income of L&H Reinsurance reached USD 459 million, 15.3% higher y-o-y, thanks to positive portfolio development and improved mortality rates in the Americas. Net premiums earned and fee income in the first half of 2019 decreased 1.6% to USD 6,284 million as a result of unfavorable foreign-exchange rate movements and the termination of an intragroup retrocession agreement with Life Capital.

Corporate Solutions - 1H2019/YTD

Corporate Solutions reported a net loss of USD 403 million and a combined ratio of 132.8% in the first six months of 2019 as a result of decisive management actions to reposition the business.

To address recent underperformance, Corporate Solutions strengthened claims reserves by USD 328 million in the second quarter of 2019. In addition, an Adverse Development Cover was established with P&C Re for a one-time premium of USD 100 million. The Group increased Corporate Solutions' capital by USD 600 million, underlining its commitment to the commercial insurance market.

Net premiums earned rose by 7.6% to USD 2,063 million, as significant rate increases and growth in selected lines of business more than offset the impact from active pruning of several underwriting portfolios.

Life Capital - 1H2019/YTD

Net income of USD 5 million reflects strong investment performance, offset by expenses related to growth of the open book businesses as well as the separation of ReAssure into a standalone group. As announced on 11 July 2019, the planned initial public offering of ReAssure was suspended due to unfavorable UK primary market conditions. Swiss Re retains the objective to reduce its ownership in order to de-consolidate ReAssure.

Net premiums earned and fee income increased by 33.1% to USD 1.1 billion in the first half of 2019 due to growth in the open book life and health insurance businesses and changes to intragroup retrocessions.

Read more about Swiss Re performance of Q2 2019, here: Swiss Re financial information center.


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