Net profits at reinsurance group, Swiss Re, rose by 21 per cent last year to SFr2.97 billion Swiss francs ($1.74 billion), boosted by a strong rise in investment income.
The company attributed the strong result to a recovery in the non-life business, after several years of strong competitive pressure.
In a statement, Swiss Re said the result was the latest in a long series of marked improvements. "Over the past six years -- in other words, since the strategic reorientation of the group and the sale of our direct insurance interests in 1994 -- profits have grown by an average of 22 percent per annum."
Non-life income rose 29 percent to SFr11.53 billion, largely because of increased premiums levied as a result of the European winter storms last year and in 1999.
Premium income in the life and health reinsurance business rose by 14 percent to SFr8.3 billion ($4.85 billion).
Swiss Re said it would propose an unchanged dividend of SFr50 per share and a capital repayment of SFr8 per share. It is planning a 20-for-one share split which would reduce the nominal value of shares to 20 centimes.
swissinfo with agencies
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