Zurich profit slips 13 per cent

Insurer Zurich Financial Services saw its 2010 profit fall 13 per cent to $4.9bn (£3.04bn) from $5.54bn in 2009, as catastrophe claims rose and it paid one-off costs in Russia and the US. Zurich, which wrote premiums of $33.1bn in 2010, made $3.45bn net profits, in line with market forecasts, and increased its dividend six per cent to SwFr17 (£11). But S&P analyst Tony Silverman downgraded his 2011 income forecasts by four per cent, saying he saw little potential for share price rises despite its effort to improve its non-life underwriting.