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Swiss Re slips into loss in 2001

The reinsurance giant Swiss Re made a net loss after tax of SFr 165m ($99m) in 2001, compared with a ...

The reinsurance giant Swiss Re made a net loss after tax of SFr 165m ($99m) in 2001, compared with a SFr 2966m profit the year before.
The company said that the net loss was its first since 1868 and was largely a result of the effects of the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September last year. The after-tax effect of 11 September was SFr 2951m, it said.
However, the company's net earned premiums were 14% higher year-on-year at SFr 25.2bn and the return on investment was above its 7% target.
As a result of 11 September and other large man-made losses and lower capital gains, the operating income of Swiss Re's property and casualty (P&C) business fell 87% year-on-year to SFr 281m in 2001 from SFr 2164m. However, net premiums earned increased 20% to SFr 13.8bn.
The P&C combined ratio was 124% compared with 117% in 2000, although Swiss Re said that the 2001 figure would have been 110% if the attacks of 11 September had not happened.
The operating income of the company's life and health business increased 16% to SFr 1682m in 2001 from SFr 1447m. The return on operating income was 9.5% — above the company's 9% target — as a result of growth in traditional and administrative reinsurance and by the elimination of poorly performing health accounts.
In 2001 the health and life business was boosted by the acquisition of Lincoln Re, which was Swiss Re's largest ever takeover.
Swiss Re's financial services business made a SFr 932m operating loss in 2001, partly as a result of 11 September and the involvement in aviation. Earned premiums were 10.4% higher at SFr 2.5bn.
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