Zurich issues update on 2017-2019 financial targets

Insurance heavyweight has made extensive efforts to simplify organisation

Zurich issues update on 2017-2019 financial targets

Insurance News

By Paul Lucas

It’s been a year of change at Zurich Insurance – and now the company is ready to move forward.

After taking a number of steps to simplify the organisation, the Swiss international insurance giant has outlined that it is on track to achieve its 2017-2019 financial target thanks to improved underlying performance, a “cash-generative business model and strong balance sheet.” It has stated that it is confident of returning capital to shareholders over time.

“In the face of challenging market conditions we continued to grow our businesses, improve our underlying performance and transform our approach to customer service,” said group chief executive officer Mario Greco in a statement. “This pattern of success gives us confidence that we will deliver on our targets and increase returns to our shareholders.”

In particular the company highlighted “above-target returns” for the six months ending on June 30. It noted that its business operating profit after tax return on equity was 12.5% and that it had achieved cumulative cost savings of around US$550 million – well on the way to its overall target of US$1.5 billion.

Meanwhile, Greco also highlighted that the recent spate of natural catastrophes should lead to an improved pricing trend in commercial insurance.

“The targets announced last year anticipated a weakening market trend,” he said. “The recent events are a reminder of rising risk costs, and we expect that the impact of the events will lead to an improving price trend. This will further boost our ability to deliver on the targets for 2017-2019.”

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