Zurich dissatisfied with 2014 profit

Zurich dissatisfied with 2014 profit

Zurich has reported its annual financial results, with its CEO saying the firm “cannot be satisfied with our 2014 earnings”.

The Swiss insurer had $4.6bn business operating profit, $3.9bn of net income attributable to shareholders, and a non-life combined ratio of 97.3%s – a slight improvement over 98% in 2013.

"While we made good progress last year in executing the strategy we set out in December 2013, we cannot be satisfied with our 2014 earnings,” said Zurich’s chief executive, Martin Senn.

“In general insurance, we continue to make good progress in improving our accident year combined ratio, although the results show that we have still much to do in our turnaround businesses, and in driving further improvement across the book,” said Senn.

“In global life, we see good momentum in our priority life markets, and expect to start seeing the benefits of in-force management initiatives coming through in our earnings over the next two years. At Farmers, the positive story continues, with two consecutive quarters of growth and a continuation of positive trends in all key metrics,” he added.

The non-life (general) insurance part of the business had $36.3bn of gross premium for 2014, bringing an operating profit of $2.89bn.

The firm grew its life premia from a gross figure of $27bn in 2013 to $31.88bn for 2014, while operating profit remained level at $1.27bn two years in a row.

"Our solvency capital continues to be very strong and we are well on track to deliver more than $9bn of cash remittances by 2016, even with the impact from currency headwinds,” said Senn. “Reflecting the stability of our business and our strong capital position, the board will propose a dividend of CHF 17 per share.

“In 2015, we continue to execute on our three strategic cornerstones – prioritizing investment in distinctive positions, managing other businesses for value and growing our operating earnings. This approach is designed to improve our profitability and address the challenges of a prolonged low yield and low growth environment,” he continued.

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