Switzerland-based reinsurance specialist Swiss Re has recorded a CHF1.3 billion net income for the first quarter of its fiscal year, representing a 54% increase over the same corresponding period the previous year.

Earnings per share rose 38% to CHF3.85, while annualized return on equity increased to 17.1%, compared to 14.1% in the first quarter of 2006. Premiums earned jumped 23% to CHF8.1 billion, benefiting significantly from the Insurance Solutions acquisition.

Swiss Re had a good start to 2007, said Jacques Aigrain, Swiss Re’s CEO. All our business segments contributed to Swiss Re’s solid performance, which also benefited from the contributions of former Insurance Solutions units and a strong investment result.

Despite suffering from increased claims following the deadly European winter storm Kyrill, its property and casualty division still reported a strong performance for the quarter, with premiums earned rising by 18% to CHF4.6 billion, while operating income saw a 4% growth to CHF1.2 billion.

The group has stated that it maintains its targets of earnings per share growth of 10% and return on equity of 13% over the cycle.