Ups and downs in the first half year

First half year results compared

ACE profits soar 54%
Global insurance group ACE reported a 54% jump in net profit to $1.3bn (£827.6m) in the first half of 2012 from $844m in the same period last year. Its combined ratio improved by 9.6 percentage points to 88.9% (H1 2011: 98.5%). Gross written premium increased by 3.7% to $10.4bn (H1 2011: $10.1bn). In the second quarter of 2012 alone, ACE posted a net profit of $328m, down 45% on the $594m it reported in the same quarter last year. The combined ratio, however, improved by four percentage points to 88.7% from 92.7%.

Chubb suffers slight dip
US insurance group Chubb reported a slight dip in first-half 2012 profit to $910m from $928m in the first half of last year. The dip came despite a 2.3% boost in net written premium to $6bn from $5.9bn and a 37% increase in underwriting profit to $462m from $337m. A large contribution to the drop in overall profit was a 55% fall in realised investment gains to $67m from $149m. Profitability also dipped in the second quarter to $404m from $419m.

Aspen moves into black
Bermuda-based (re)insurer Aspen swung to a net profit of $163.3m in the first half of 2012 from a loss of $143.7m in the same period last year. The combined ratio improved to a profitable 90.4% from a loss-making 126.8%. Excluding the impact of natural catastrophes, the first-half 2012 combined ratio would have been 88.3%, compared with 87.9% in the first half of 2011.