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Swiss Re profit fails to meet market forecasts

Zurich-based Swiss Re has reported a net income for 2010 of $863 million (SFr827 million), an increase of 74 per cent over 2009 but short of analysts’ expectations.

The company said in a statement on Thursday that it made a net loss for the fourth quarter after repaying an emergency loan it had received from United States billionaire Warren Buffett during the credit crisis.

Swiss Re in November agreed to repay ahead of schedule a SFr3 billion loan from Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway company.

More earthquake, storm and flood claims also dented the profit.

The company, which is the number two market player in the reinsurance business behind Munich Re, said it planned to establish a new corporate structure under a newly formed holding company.

It plans to increase its dividend to SFr2.75 from SFr1 a year earlier.

Swiss Re said it had begun the year well, with “very successful January renewals” because of increased demand from large clients.

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