On Thursday, Zurich Insurance reported a 35 percent increase in business operating profit to $5.7 billion in 2021, exceeding expectations, and said it anticipated to meet or exceed its 2022 financial targets.
In a statement, Europe’s fifth-largest insurer stated net income attributable to shareholders increased by 36% to $5.2 billion.
The insurer’s operating profit and net income were at their highest levels since 2007 because of excellent commercial insurance performance and lower claims from COVID-19.
The operational profit of the life business increased by 27% to $1.8 billion.
When the coronavirus outbreak hit in early 2020, insurers were pessimistic about the industry’s prospects. However, they have remained profitable despite eliminating COVID-19 from many insurances and boosting rates.
In November 2019, Zurich announced three-year goals, including increasing its objective for business operating profit after-tax return on equity from more than 12 percent to more than 14 percent.
Zurich has had its best year in a long time, showcasing the strength of the business, the quality of the consumer, and the benefits of recent business repositioning.
According to a company-compiled consensus prediction, business operating profit for 2021 is expected to be $5.5 billion, while net income attributable to shareholders is expected to be $4.3 billion.
Zurich recommended a dividend of 22 Swiss francs per share, up 10% over the previous year’s proposal.
In Asia on Thursday, a tech-fueled global market boom faltered as investors became more cautious over concerns about the future for inflation and interest rates.
World bond yields eased off multi-year highs, while the dollar remained flat ahead of the much-watched U.S. inflation report due later in the day, which is expected to provide new insight into the pace of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.41 percent as Chinese blue chips fell 0.75 percent.
Crude oil prices fell, with WTI futures in the United States falling 20 cents to $89.46 a barrel and Brent crude futures down 42 cents to $91.13 a barrel.