Zurich Financial Services has reported that its net income for the first quarter of 2008 increased 3% to $1.4 billion compared to the same period of 2007.

For the quarter, business operating profit (BOP) was $1.8 billion, an increase of 1%. Annualized BOP return on equity after tax was 18.6%.

The group reported a general insurance gross written premiums and policy fees of $11.2 billion, up 10% from the same period in 2007, and a combined ratio of 94.6%. Shareholders equity totaled to 29.4 billion, a growth of 1% compared to the same period of 2007.

James Schiro, CEO of Zurich Financial Services, said: Going forward, I am confident we will continue to execute on our dual focus of profitable growth and operational transformation, turning these challenging times into opportunities for the creation of long-term shareholder value.