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Zurich Insurance H1 net income up 19% YOY

Zurich Insurance Group AG reported first-half after-tax net income attributable to shareholders of $1.79 billion, up from $1.50 billion in the prior-year period.

EPS for the period was $11.97, up from $9.97 a year earlier. Return on common shareholders' equity also increased year over year, to 12.5% from 11.3%.

Net written premiums and policy fees amounted to $22.73 billion in the half, up from $22.35 billion a year earlier. Net earned premiums and policy fees totaled $20.85 billion, up from $20.07 billion.

The group's business operating profit was $2.42 billion, up from the year-ago $2.17 billion.

Business operating profit from the property and casualty segment rose on a yearly basis to $1.14 billion from $1.02 billion. Gross written premiums and policy fees at the unit also increased, to $18.54 billion from $18.01 billion. The P&C combined ratio stood at 97.5% in the first half, compared to 99.5% a year earlier.

At the life segment, business operating profit amounted to $760 million, up from the year-ago $650 million. Gross written premiums, policy fees and insurance deposits reached $16.97 billion, compared to $14.36 billion a year ago.

Business operating profit at the Farmers segment came in at $808 million in the period, up from $794 million in the first half of 2017.

The group's Zurich Economic Capital Model ratio stood at 134% at the end of June, compared to 132% at the end of December 2017.

Zurich said it remains "well positioned" to achieve its 2017-2019 financial targets, achieving as of June 30 cumulative cost savings of approximately $900 million of the targeted $1.5 billion.

"Our businesses are showing great resilience and improved profitability despite challenging market conditions," Group CEO Mario Greco said. "At the midpoint of our three-year plan, we stand well on track to achieve all indicated targets by the end of 2019."