Swiss Re said that the net loss in the first half of the year was driven by claims and reserves associated with the Covid-19, which amounted to $2.5bn

SwissRe

Swiss Re Next building in Zurich, Switzerland. (Credit: Leonardo Finotti/Swiss Re.)

Swiss Re has been hit with a net loss of $1.13bn for the first half of 2020 (H1 2020) that ended 30 June, compared to a net profit of $953m in H1 2019.

The Swiss reinsurance group said that the net loss in the first half of the year was driven by claims and reserves associated with the Covid-19, which amounted to $2.5bn.

According to the reinsurer, its H1 2020 net income after the exclusion of the impact of the coronavirus losses, comes to $865m, which is claimed to indicate a strong underlying business performance across the business.

The net premiums earned and fee income during the reported half were $19.33bn compared to $18.16bn in the first half of last year.

In the property and casualty (P&C) reinsurance unit, the net premiums earned in H1 2020 were up by 10% to $9.6bn compared to $8.71bn in H1 2019.

The P&C business saw a net loss of $519m compared to the previous year’s net income of 771m in the first half. This was due to the huge natural catastrophe losses reported in the first quarter followed by the Calgary hailstorm in the second quarter, said the reinsurance group.

Swiss Re’s life and health (L&C) reinsurance unit had net premiums earned and fee income of $6.67bn in H1 2020, which is 6.2% more compared to $6.28bn in H1 2019.

The unit had its net income drop from $459m in H1 2019 to $74m in H1 2020. The reduced H1 2020 net income for this unit was due to Covid-19-related claims and reserves of $548m, said Swiss Re.

Swiss Re Group CEO comments on H1 2020 results

Swiss Re Group CEO Christian Mumenthaler said: “We are encouraged by the good progress we see in all of Swiss Re’s businesses so far this year. While some degree of uncertainty remains with regards to future COVID-19 losses, we are confident in the outlook for our Group.

“Thanks to our disciplined capital management, we are in a strong position to continue to support our clients and deploy capital for business growth in improving pricing conditions.”

Last month, Swiss Re completed its previously announced sale of life and pensions firm ReAssure to Phoenix Group. As per the deal terms, the Swiss reinsurance group received £1.2bn and a stake of 13.3% in Phoenix Group as consideration for the sale.