Zurich first quarter results show EMEA drops, with UK part of the fall 

Zurich’s UK premium declined in the first quarter of this year.

Zurich said: ”In EMEA, gross written premiums increased 9% in U.S. dollar terms and declined by 2% on a like-for-like basis, with growth in the Switzerland commercial business offset by reductions in Germany and the UK.

”Gross written premiums for North America were down 5% compared to the prior year period. In line with group’s strategy, this was mainly driven by planned reductions in less profitable lines.”

Overall, the EMEA book was up 9% to $5.3bn - but this was because of positive currency movements. There was a 2% decline on a like-for-like basis.

Total property and casualty was up 5% to $9.3bn, but again, this was because of positive currency movements. Like-for-like it was down 1%.

Zurich group chief executive Mario Greco is trying to flush out unwanted business and tighten up on underwriting, meaning the premium falls were part of a planned reduction. 

Greco is also slashing costs, and has stressed he is well on the way to meeting targets. 

Zurich’s UK changes

The resutls were announced shortly after Zurich UK revealed a major shake up in the UK.

While Zurich’s UK premium is in decline, AXA is growing in the UK following significant rate rises, especially in commercial renewals.

AXA’s former UK boss Amanda Blanc is set to take over as Zurich EMEA chief.