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Lower net capital gains dent Zurich Insurance H1 income

Zurich Insurance Group AG reported second-quarter after-tax net income attributable to shareholders of $896 million, up from $739 million in the same period in 2016.

For the first half, attributable net income fell to $1.50 billion from the year-ago $1.61 billion, which the group said was driven by lower net capital gains.

EPS for the period amounted to $9.97, down from $10.75 in the same period in 2016. Return on common shareholders' equity also decreased to 11.3% from 11.9% a year earlier.

Net written premiums and policy fees dropped on a yearly basis to $22.35 billion from $22.67 billion, while net earned premiums and policy fees decreased to $20.07 billion from $21.23 billion. Net investment result on group investments also fell, to $3.09 billion from $3.65 billion.

Including the impact of the U.K. government's decision to revise the personal injury discount rate, or Ogden rate, the group's business operating profit for the first half rose to $2.17 billion from $2.16 billion in the same period in 2016.

Business operating profit from the property and casualty segment amounted to $1.02 billion, down on a yearly basis from the year-ago $1.20 billion. Gross written premiums and policy fees also fell to $18.01 billion from $18.67 billion. The combined ratio at the unit stood at 99.5% during the first half, compared to 98.1% a year earlier.

Business operating profit at the life segment increased year over year to $650 million from $562 million. Gross written premiums, policy fees and insurance deposit rose to $14.36 billion from the year-ago $14.84 billion.

Meanwhile, the business operating profit at Farmers segment increased on a yearly basis to $794 million from $766 million.

With effect from the third quarter, Zurich Insurance intends to move to reporting its full financial results for the half year and full year only. For first- and third-quarter reporting, the group said it will release a statement providing highlights for the quarter focusing on top-line development, including qualitative comments on recent trading and market trends, as well as the development of the group's capital position and notable exceptional items.