Zurich’s profit falls 28 per cent

Zurich’s business operating profit has fallen 28 per cent over the first half of 2009 to £1.5m compared with the same period last year.

For the global life business, business operating profit fell 17 per cent to £377m from £454m in the first half of 2008.

But the Swiss firm’s global life gross new business on an APE basis increased 3 per cent from £900m to £929m over the period.

Zurich’s capital surplus as of June 30 equates to a group solvency position of 180 per cent. Shareholders’ equity increased 14 per cent to £14.8bn compared with year-end 2008.

Chief financial officer Dieter Wemmer says: “We are particularly pleased with our ability to increase shareholders’ equity and strengthen our solvency ratio despite the challenging market conditions.

“The company is well on track to meet its operational improvement target under The Zurich Way initiatives of £529m after tax as well as its expense saving target of £235m for the current year.

“In addition, the company continued to broaden its product range and distribution capabilities organically as well as through entry into new market segments and the ongoing successful integration process of its recent acquisitions completed in Europe, the US and emerging markets.”

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