Swiss Re tripled its profit in 2011 despite unusually severe natural disasters, and said it was raising its dividend and the current year had started well with a rise in prices.
Swiss Re, the world’s second-biggest reinsurer by market capitalisation, said renewal prices with insurance company clients had, on average, risen 4 percent in January, compared with the 2 percent seen by larger rival Munich Re.
“We expect to see prices continuing to firm in the course of 2012,” chief financial officer George Quinn said on Thursday.
Swiss Re recorded a full-year profit of $ 2.63 billion, compared with an estimate of $1.79 billion in a poll and after an $863 million profit in 2010.
Profit was helped by a good investment result, a low tax rate due to corporate restructuring, a rise of nearly 11 percent in property and casualty premium income, and a release of $1.3 billion of reserves.
Asset management saw a 5.1 percent return on investments. “The result was exceptional and not one I would expect asset management to repeat in 2012,” said Quinn. He also said the group would likely not be able to benefit from the exceptionally low 2011 tax rate this year.
Swiss Re will consider a special dividend at the end of 2012 if it does not deploy it to other uses, such as for growing its core reinsurance business, Quinn said.