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Dow Jones Newswires: Swiss Re swings to 2021 profit on property and casualty businesses, maintains stable dividend, and announces new financial targets

Swiss Re AG
SREN,
-5.89%

swung to a profit in 2021 thanks to the performance of its property and casualty businesses, maintained a stable dividend, and unveiled new financial targets.

The Swiss reinsurer Friday posted a net profit of $1.44 billion, compared with a net loss of $878 million in 2020. Excluding the effect of reserves for Covid-19-related claims, profit climbed to $3.02 billion from $2.18 billion.

“Despite still major Covid-19 impacts and a high occurrence of large natural catastrophe events throughout the year, we rebounded to a $1.4 billion profit,” Chief Executive Officer Christian Mumenthaler said.

Net premiums earned and fee income increased to $42.73 billion from $40.77 billion, the company said.

Swiss Re’s return on equity came in at 5.7%, and at 11.6% excluding Covid-19 effects. Its return on investments fell to 3.2% from 3.5%, it said.

The company said its board of directors would propose a stable dividend of 5.90 Swiss francs ($6.38) a share at the annual general meeting on April 13.

Swiss Re also set out new financial targets, and it expects to increase its return on equity to 10% in 2022 and to 14% in 2024.

For 2022, it said it expects the performance of its property and casualty businesses to continue to improve, targeting a normalized combined ratio of less than 94%.

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com; @MauroOrru94

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