Zurich Insurance has reported a net income of $1.14bn for the first quarter of 2012, compared to $640m for the same period in 2011.

Business operating profit for the first quarter of 2012 surged to $1.38bn, compared to $854m in the prior-year quarter.

General insurance business operating profit increased to $856m, compared to $280m for the same period a year ago.

Global life business operating profit decreased to $293m, compared to $362m for the same period last year.

Zurich Insurance CEO Martin Senn said that the company’s acquisitions and alliances have allowed it to deepen its position in several key markets.

"Last month, we signed a 10 year exclusive distribution agreement to be the provider of wealth insurance products to HSBC clients in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar," Senn said.

"In Singapore, we now hold the license to access all of our target segments for life insurance products, while in Malaysia, we have completed the renaming of MAA to the Zurich brand combining the strong local heritage and market position with global insurance expertise."