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Zurich records 5% increase in life new business

Zurich global life new business after tax increased 5 per cent on an annual premium equivalent basis to £1.45bn for the nine months to September 30 while new business margin after tax was of 21.8 per cent.

The firm says APE growth was primarily driven by Spanish bank distribution agreements, growth from corporate life and pensions activities, higher sales of long-term savings products and successful sales campaigns through major banking partners in the UK.

New business value after tax reached £315m, an increase of 2 per cent, primarily as a result of the acquisitions in Spain, growth in sales volumes in Latin America and further improved margins in the UK, Ireland, the US and Australia.

Zurich has posted operating profit of £2.5bn for the year to date, down 3 per cent compared with the same period last year.

The firm recorded a 24 per cent fall in net income for the period to £1.3bn.

Operating profit for the third quarter was £909m, a 138 per cent increase over the same prior-year quarter, with net income of £551m, a 490 per cent increase over the same quarter in 2008.

Zurich says it continued to exploit emerging opportunities, expanding its product range and distribution capabilities organically as well as through the successful integration of its recent acquisitions completed in Europe, the US and emerging markets.

It says it is on track to meet its operational improvement target of £545m as well as its additional expense saving target of £242m for the current year.

Chief executive officer James J. Schiro says: “In this period of ongoing economic uncertainty, our focus remains on maintaining our strong balance sheet, driving operational excellence and delivering sustained profitable growth.

“By effectively balancing these levers, we have generated excellent quarterly results and ensured that Zurich is well positioned for the future under any economic scenario.”

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