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Swiss Re Q1 net profit down 30% on year but beats expectations
[FRANKFURT] Swiss Re on Friday posted a better-than-expected net profit in the first quarter, although it was still down from a year ago amid continuing pressure on reinsurance prices.
Net profit was US$457 million, down 30 per cent from US$656 million a year earlier. But it was above expectations of US$447 million forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
It gave no update on talks with Japan's SoftBank. The technology investor is in talks to buy a stake in Swiss Re that is unlikely to exceed 10 per cent, the reinsurer has said.
The world's second-biggest reinsurer earned more in the first quarter than it did all of last year, when it took a severe hit from a spate of natural disaster's in North America that cost insurers across the industry a record.
"We delivered a solid set of results across the board in the first quarter of 2018, as we maintained our underwriting discipline while expanding in an improving, yet still challenging, re/insurance pricing environment," chief executive Christian Mumenthaler said.
Gross written premiums were up 13.1 per cent in the quarter, at US$11.5 billion, better than the US$10.6 billion expected by analysts and above US$10.2 billion a year ago.