ZURICH FY2018 BOP up by 20% to USD 4.6 billion and NIAS was up by 24% to USD 3.71 billion

ZURICH Insurance Group reported 2018 BOP of USD 4.56 billion vs. USD 3.80 billion a year before, while the net income after tax attributable to shareholders (NIAS) was up by 24% to USD 3.71 billion.

The company mentioned it is well on track to fully achieve its 2017 to 2019 targets. "As of December 31, 2018, cumulative net cost savings of USD 1.1 billion have been achieved towards the target of USD 1.5 billion. Cash remittances for the year were USD 3.8 billion, contributing to USD 7.5 billion for 2017 and 2018 combined, and over the strategic cycle the Group expects to exceed the target of USD 9.5 billion of cash remittances. The estimated Z-ECM ratio stands at a very strong 125%, above our 100% to 120% target range. The business operating profit after tax return on equity (BOPAT ROE) for the year was 12.1%, above the target of in excess of 12% and growing over the three-year period".

Thus, ZURICH's Board of Directors will propose an increase of approximately 6% to the dividend to CHF 19 per share, leading to a NIAS payout-ratio of 76%. Shareholders will vote on the proposal at the Group's annual general meeting on April 3, 2019.

Per lines of business, PC BOP was up by 35% y-o-y to USD 2.08 billion, GWP remained stable at about USD 33.50 billion, while combined ratio improved to 97.8% vs. 100.9% a year before.

FY 2018 life GWP was USD 33.44 billion (+1% y-o-y), while life BOP increased by 23% y-o-y to USD 1.55 billion.

"We are very pleased with the excellent progress achieved in 2018 in executing our customer-led strategy. We set challenging goals and are delivering against them. We have continued to strengthen our profitability and lower costs while growing our business, expanding our global footprint and broadening our range of innovative solutions to meet the changing needs of customers. This performance gives us great confidence as we enter the next phase of our development over the year ahead", said Group Chief Executive Officer Mario GRECO.

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