Swiss Re's Profit After Tax Up 21% Continuing a Series Of Strong Earnings Increases

ZURICH, Switzerland, April 26 /PR Newswire Interactive Release/ -- In 2000

Swiss Re once again achieved a strong increase in profits, which rose by 21%

Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from Swiss Re

to CHF 2 966 million. This excellent result was driven by a strong improvement
 in the non-life business and a record investment result. Earnings per share
 rose to CHF 208 (1999: CHF 171), up 22%. The Board of Directors will propose
 to the Annual General Meeting a dividend of CHF 50 per share and a capital
 repayment of CHF 8 per share, as well as a 20-for-1 split of outstanding
 shares. The recent positive non-life renewals have fostered expectations of
 further improvements in operating results for 2001.
 
     Swiss Re Group
     The strong Group result of CHF 2 966 million, up 21%, was driven by both a
 healthy improvement in the non-life business and a record investment result of
 CHF 9.1 billion, up 22% on the prior year. The return on investment was
 10%, compared with 8.8% in 1999, marking the fifth year in a row of a return
 at or above Swiss Re's long-term target rate of 7%. This was achieved despite
 generally mixed market conditions. At the same time, Swiss Re strengthened its
 equalization reserves for future catastrophe losses and claims fluctuations by
 a larger figure than usual. This will further increase Swiss Re's financial
 strength. Total premiums earned increased to CHF 22.1 billion, a rise of
 22% over 1999. Return on equity increased to 11.9% from 10.9% in 1999.
 
     Non-Life Business Group
     After several years of fierce competitive pressure, non-life business
 showed clear signs of recovery. The operating income of the Non-Life Business
 Group rose by 43% to CHF 2 164 million (1999: CHF 1 513 million) and the
 combined ratio improved from 122% to 117%. Premiums earned increased by 29% to
 CHF 11.5 billion, mainly due to the consolidation of Underwriters Re in the US
 and to growth in Europe. Swiss Re confidently expects to see further sharp
 improvements in the performance of the non-life business, with the end of one
 of the most severe periods of soft market conditions ever experienced in the
 cyclical non-life reinsurance business. Swiss Re emerges considerably
 strengthened from this difficult period because, throughout the cycle, its
 priority has been to maintain a strong balance sheet.
 
     Life & Health Business Group
     In the Life & Health Business Group, premiums earned grew 14% to CHF
 8.3 billion, continuing the strong growth trend of recent years. The operating
 result decreased by 4% to CHF 1 447 million (1999: CHF 1.505 million). This is
 largely attributable to a reduction in realized capital gains as the life and
 health business took capital losses on bonds to optimize the Group's
 investment strategy. The fundamental performance of the Life & Health Business
 Group continues to be very strong, exceeding management targets, and is an
 important and stable contributor to Swiss Re's overall growth. Administrative
 Reinsurance(SM) (Admin Re) continues to be an important driver of growth in
 the life and health business.
 
     Financial Services Business Group
     The Financial Services Business Group did not repeat the excellent results
 of 1999. The operating income decreased from CHF 733 million to CHF 431
 million. The decline was due to the absence of a CHF 343 million gain realized
 on the sale of the Group's 20% interest in Credit Suisse Financial Products in
 1999 and an above-average number of major loss events in the sectors of large
 industrial and weather-related risks. However, premiums earned increased to
 CHF 2.2 billion, up 22% compared to the prior year, primarily due to growth in
 the corporate risk underwriting business. The outlook for 2001 shows a
 significant improvement: the pipeline of new transactions remains strong,
 particularly as the traditional non-life cycle continues to tighten. Swiss Re
 confidently expects that demand for structured transactions will continue to
 grow.
     Swiss Re also announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire from
 MetLife its affiliate Conning Corporation, one of the United States' leading
 companies specializing in asset management for insurance company investment
 portfolios. It is also a provider of private equity, institutional research
 and mortgage loan services to financial services companies. This acquisition
 significantly strengthens Swiss Re's newly created Financial Services Business
 Group. The terms of the transaction, expected to close mid-year, were not
 disclosed.
 
     Restructuring of the Non-Life Business Group
     In the first quarter of 2001, Swiss Re consolidated its European non-life
 business into one organization by merging the Bavarian Re and Europe
 divisions. In addition, operations in Zurich relating to Latin America will
 move to their respective region, nearer to their clients. Asia Division will
 move its headquarters to Hong Kong within the first quarter of 2002. The goal
 is to improve and streamline services for clients, foster knowledge-sharing
 and eliminate duplications - thus lowering costs and enhancing client benefit.
 
     Dividend payment and share split
     The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting a
 dividend of CHF 50 per share and a capital repayment of CHF 8 per share, as
 well as a 20-for-1 split of the outstanding shares. This should increase the
 liquidity of the stock in the marketplace.
 
     Annual Report 2000
     The 2000 Annual Reporting package and further information on Swiss Re are
 available on our homepage http://www.swissre.com. Enclosed is the twelve-page
 summary of the 2000 Annual Report.
 
     Online version of Annual Report in Annual reporting 2000
 
     Note to editors: Swiss Re is one of the world's leading reinsurers with
 over 70 offices in more than 30 countries.  In the 2000 financial year, the
 volume of premiums earned amounted to CHF 22.1 billion and the result after
 tax reached CHF 2.97 billon.  Swiss Re is rated "Aaaa" by Moody's, "AAA" by
 Standard & Poor's and "A++" [superior] by A.M. Best.
 
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                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X11136634
 
 

SOURCE Swiss Re
to CHF 2 966 million. This excellent result was driven by a strong improvement
 in the non-life business and a record investment result. Earnings per share
 rose to CHF 208 (1999: CHF 171), up 22%. The Board of Directors will propose
 to the Annual General Meeting a dividend of CHF 50 per share and a capital
 repayment of CHF 8 per share, as well as a 20-for-1 split of outstanding
 shares. The recent positive non-life renewals have fostered expectations of
 further improvements in operating results for 2001.
 
     Swiss Re Group
     The strong Group result of CHF 2 966 million, up 21%, was driven by both a
 healthy improvement in the non-life business and a record investment result of
 CHF 9.1 billion, up 22% on the prior year. The return on investment was
 10%, compared with 8.8% in 1999, marking the fifth year in a row of a return
 at or above Swiss Re's long-term target rate of 7%. This was achieved despite
 generally mixed market conditions. At the same time, Swiss Re strengthened its
 equalization reserves for future catastrophe losses and claims fluctuations by
 a larger figure than usual. This will further increase Swiss Re's financial
 strength. Total premiums earned increased to CHF 22.1 billion, a rise of
 22% over 1999. Return on equity increased to 11.9% from 10.9% in 1999.
 
     Non-Life Business Group
     After several years of fierce competitive pressure, non-life business
 showed clear signs of recovery. The operating income of the Non-Life Business
 Group rose by 43% to CHF 2 164 million (1999: CHF 1 513 million) and the
 combined ratio improved from 122% to 117%. Premiums earned increased by 29% to
 CHF 11.5 billion, mainly due to the consolidation of Underwriters Re in the US
 and to growth in Europe. Swiss Re confidently expects to see further sharp
 improvements in the performance of the non-life business, with the end of one
 of the most severe periods of soft market conditions ever experienced in the
 cyclical non-life reinsurance business. Swiss Re emerges considerably
 strengthened from this difficult period because, throughout the cycle, its
 priority has been to maintain a strong balance sheet.
 
     Life & Health Business Group
     In the Life & Health Business Group, premiums earned grew 14% to CHF
 8.3 billion, continuing the strong growth trend of recent years. The operating
 result decreased by 4% to CHF 1 447 million (1999: CHF 1.505 million). This is
 largely attributable to a reduction in realized capital gains as the life and
 health business took capital losses on bonds to optimize the Group's
 investment strategy. The fundamental performance of the Life & Health Business
 Group continues to be very strong, exceeding management targets, and is an
 important and stable contributor to Swiss Re's overall growth. Administrative
 Reinsurance(SM) (Admin Re) continues to be an important driver of growth in
 the life and health business.
 
     Financial Services Business Group
     The Financial Services Business Group did not repeat the excellent results
 of 1999. The operating income decreased from CHF 733 million to CHF 431
 million. The decline was due to the absence of a CHF 343 million gain realized
 on the sale of the Group's 20% interest in Credit Suisse Financial Products in
 1999 and an above-average number of major loss events in the sectors of large
 industrial and weather-related risks. However, premiums earned increased to
 CHF 2.2 billion, up 22% compared to the prior year, primarily due to growth in
 the corporate risk underwriting business. The outlook for 2001 shows a
 significant improvement: the pipeline of new transactions remains strong,
 particularly as the traditional non-life cycle continues to tighten. Swiss Re
 confidently expects that demand for structured transactions will continue to
 grow.
     Swiss Re also announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire from
 MetLife its affiliate Conning Corporation, one of the United States' leading
 companies specializing in asset management for insurance company investment
 portfolios. It is also a provider of private equity, institutional research
 and mortgage loan services to financial services companies. This acquisition
 significantly strengthens Swiss Re's newly created Financial Services Business
 Group. The terms of the transaction, expected to close mid-year, were not
 disclosed.
 
     Restructuring of the Non-Life Business Group
     In the first quarter of 2001, Swiss Re consolidated its European non-life
 business into one organization by merging the Bavarian Re and Europe
 divisions. In addition, operations in Zurich relating to Latin America will
 move to their respective region, nearer to their clients. Asia Division will
 move its headquarters to Hong Kong within the first quarter of 2002. The goal
 is to improve and streamline services for clients, foster knowledge-sharing
 and eliminate duplications - thus lowering costs and enhancing client benefit.
 
     Dividend payment and share split
     The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting a
 dividend of CHF 50 per share and a capital repayment of CHF 8 per share, as
 well as a 20-for-1 split of the outstanding shares. This should increase the
 liquidity of the stock in the marketplace.
 
     Annual Report 2000
     The 2000 Annual Reporting package and further information on Swiss Re are
 available on our homepage http://www.swissre.com. Enclosed is the twelve-page
 summary of the 2000 Annual Report.
 
     Online version of Annual Report in Annual reporting 2000
 
     Note to editors: Swiss Re is one of the world's leading reinsurers with
 over 70 offices in more than 30 countries.  In the 2000 financial year, the
 volume of premiums earned amounted to CHF 22.1 billion and the result after
 tax reached CHF 2.97 billon.  Swiss Re is rated "Aaaa" by Moody's, "AAA" by
 Standard & Poor's and "A++" [superior] by A.M. Best.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X11136634
 
 SOURCE  Swiss Re