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P&C lifts Zurich performance

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Zurich’s operating profit gained 20% to $US4.6 billion ($6.48 billion) last year on improved underwriting performance in property and casualty.

Property and casualty operating profit grew 35%, while life sales were up 11%, with profit increasing 23% to $US1.6 billion ($2.25 billion).

Zurich’s cost-cutting drive has saved $US1.1 billion ($1.55 billion) since 2017, with a cumulative target of $US1.5 billion ($2.11 billion) by the end of this year.

The insurer last year bought QBE’s Latin America operations and the EuroAmerica individual and group life business in Chile. It also bought regional travel insurer Travel Ace and Universal Assistance, which strengthened its subsidiary Cover-More.

Zurich will complete the purchase of an 80% stake in southeast Asian business Adira Insurance in the first quarter of this year.