Zurich avoids disaster to post strong profits

INSURANCE giant Zurich yesterday announced better-than-expected profits, largely thanks to the absence of any major disaster claims this year.

Operating profit at the Swiss firm was $2.5bn (£1.6bn) for the first half of 2012, up 17 per cent, while the combined ratio for the same period – a measure of underwriting profitability – improved to 94.9 per cent.

“Zurich’s performance demonstrates our strategy is working. We have again achieved strong levels of profitability, a very good result in the challenging environment,” said chief executive Martin Senn.