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Swiss Re is back in black but doubts persist

Reinsurance company Swiss Re made a strong net profit in the second quarter but the market has concerns about the company’s underwriting performance.

Swiss Re, which is based in Zurich, said its net profit was $812 million (SFr853.4 million) despite higher catastrophe payouts.

Financial analysts polled by Reuters had expected an average profit of $359 million, following a net loss of $342 million compared with the same period a year ago.

Swiss Re’s property and casualty unit delivered operating income of $455 million compared with $896 million in the comparable period last year.

The result was affected by the $130 million increase in estimated claims from February’s earthquake in Chile and the estimated claims from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion of about $200 million before tax.

“The result looks good at first sight and any quarterly profit is most welcome in the Swiss Re recovery process,” commented analyst Stefan Schürmann at Bank Vontobel.

“However, underlying, the result does not look great, neither on the life nor on the life and health side,” he added.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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