Jeffries predicts ZFS's Q3 profit to reach $1.4bn

Stockbroking firm Jefferies is expecting “solid” third-quarter results from Swiss insurance group Zurich Financial Services (ZFS), which it says is part of a trend of improving non-life insurance performance globally.

Jefferies expects Zurich’s business operating profit to be $1.4bn (£872.4m), at the top end of equity analysts’ consensus range. While this is down from the $1.52bn reported in the third quarter of 2009, Jefferies said the 2009 figure was inflated by one-off items. The stockbroker also anticipates that pressure on Zurich’s non-life top line should moderate and the underlying combined ratio should improve.

Jefferies said US-based insurers Travelers and Chubb both reported solid third-quarter results and “encouraging” growth in net written premium of 2% and 1%.