Zurich Financial results beat expectations
Zurich Financial Services has weathered the global economic downturn relatively well, posting a half-year net profit of $1.25 billion (SFr1.18 billion).
Although that is only half as much as in the first six months of 2008, the results still exceeded analysts' expectations.
The second-quarter results show that the insurance company had a business operating profit of $1.5 billion, a 41 per cent increase over the first three months of 2009.
That amounted to a net profit of $892 million, a 147 per cent leap over the same quarter last year and about $30 billion more than analysts had predicted.
But operating profits for the entire first half of 2009 were down 28 per cent to $2.5 billion.
Thursday's results were the 26th straight quarter that the firm has posted a profit.
In the first half, general insurance premiums and policy fees were down 11 per cent to $18.2 billion on the first half of 2008.
"I am proud of how we have proactively managed our way through this global economic downturn, strengthening our financial position while capitalizing on opportunities," Chief Executive James J. Schiro said in a statement.
Later on Thursday, the company announced that Schiro, who is to retire at the end of the year, will be replaced by Martin Senn. The 52-year-old is currently Zurich's Chief Investment Officer.
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