Earnings at the world's second largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, are expected to have risen by more than 20 per cent in 2000, boosted by a strong investment result and steadily growing income from life reinsurance.
Swiss Re provided indications on business trends ahead of Wednesday's Investors Day. The lower than expected increase in profits reflects the fact that the company is putting more of its money into its reserves than in the previous year. These reserves are used to cover catastrophe losses and claims.
The larger additions are being made despite the fact that catastrophes in 2000 were less than in the record year of 1999.
Swiss Re is not expected to give definitive figures on 2000 performance until April 26.
Swiss Re's earnings estimates compares with recent analysts' forecasts for a rise in net profit in 2000 of between 40 and 74 per cent to between SFr3.9 and SFR4.8 billion.
Looking ahead to business in 2001 Swiss Re said in a statement that it expects the trend towards higher prices and better conditions continuing for the balance of renewals in 2001 and in 2002.
swissinfo with agencies