ACE has reported that its net income for the first quarter of 2012 plummeted by 45% to $328m compared to a net income of $594m during the corresponding quarter last year.

Net income was $0.96 per share compared with $1.74 per share for the same quarter last year and during the first six months ended 30 June 2012, ACE net income stood at $3.80 per share, up 53% against a net income of $2.48 per share during the period earlier year.

Total net income rose sharply to $1.3bn, with an increase of 54% from $844m during the first six months of fiscal year 2011.

ACE Limited chairman and chief executive officer Evan Greenberg said, "After-tax operating income was $743 million, up 10% from last year, and our operating ROE was 12.6%.

The underwriting results were reported with a P&C combined ratio of 88.7% and earnings for the first six months exceeding $1.4 billion or $4.22 per share.

"Total company net premiums written grew 4.5% in the quarter, or 6.5% adjusting for the impact of foreign exchange. For the first time, pricing in our international P&C operations in aggregate turned positive, whereas for our U.S. business, rates continued to rise, up 4.7% on average for the quarter."

ACE offers multiline property and casualty insurance products and trades in 53 countries offering commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients.