UK COR improved by four points to 95.8%

Zurich has reported a 35% increase in operating profit from its global general insurance business.

It made a $2.9bn (£1.7bn) operating profit in 2013, up 35% on £2.1bn in 2012.

Its combined operating ratio (COR) improved by 2.9 points to 95.5%.

Gross written premiums and policy fees increased by 2% to $36.4bn (£21.9bn).

In the UK, its COR improved from 99.8% to 95.8% on gross written premiums and fees down 1.5% to $2.6bn.

The combined ratio benefited from fewer severe catastrophes compared with 2012 as well as cost efficiencies, Zurich said, while the underlying loss ratio was improved by disciplined underwriting.

The improvements were partly offset by an increase in large and weather-related losses and a decline in investment income.

“We will continue to build on the success of our combined general insurance and global life offering to large corporate customers, leverage the strengths of our North America commercial business to better serve commercial mid-market customers around the world and focus our retail business to markets where we can excel,” said chief executive Martin Senn.

At group level, Zurich’s operating profit rose 15% to $4.8bn.