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Swiss Re P&C arm books strong rise in Q1 earnings

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Swiss Re’s property and casualty (P&C) reinsurance business has booked a sharp rise in first-quarter net income of $US477 million ($618 million) from $US61 million ($79 million) in the corresponding period last year.

The Zurich-based reinsurance giant says the performance is the result of continued price improvements and disciplined underwriting.

Excluding COVID-19 impacts, the P&C Reinsurance arm made a net income of $US509 million ($659 million) for the three months to March.

Net premiums earned increased by 5.7% to $US5 billion ($6.5 billion), driven by strong new business growth last year, which continues to earn through in 2021.

Large natural catastrophe losses, primarily relating to US winter storms, cost the business $US316 million ($409 million) during the quarter.

The combined ratio improved to 96.5% from 110.8% a year earlier. If COVID impact was excluded, the ratio would have been at a stronger 95.6%.

Swiss Re says its overall net income for the quarter was $US333 million ($431.4 million), compared with a $US225 million ($291.5 million) loss from a year earlier.

COVID-related losses totalled $US643 million ($833.1 million), Swiss Re says.

“We have seen a solid start to 2021 and expect all our businesses to continue delivering a strong underlying performance with diminishing COVID-19 losses,” Group CEO Christian Mumenthaler said.

“I am particularly encouraged by the improving profitability in our property and casualty businesses, supported by strong renewals year to date in improving market conditions.”