Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Zurich Financial Services AG, Switzerland’s biggest insurer, may say fourth-quarter profit fell 31 percent after increased natural catastrophe losses.
Net income probably dropped to $742 million, from $1.07 billion a year earlier, according to the average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The Zurich-based insurer is due to report results tomorrow at 6:45 a.m. local time.
The company said on Jan. 26 it expects insured losses of as much as $250 million to be booked in the fourth quarter following the floods in Thailand and increased cost estimates for the New Zealand earthquake and its aftershocks.
Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect the insurer to keep its 2011 dividend at the previous year’s level. Zurich Financial said on Dec. 1 that it wants to keep its dividend policy unchanged after increasing its 2010 payout to an 11-year high of 17 Swiss francs ($18.54), adding that the insurer’s solvency and cash generation will support this goal.
The following is a table of the analysts’ estimates and year-earlier figures in millions of dollars.
--Editors: Dylan Griffiths, Jon Menon.
To contact the reporter on this story: Carolyn Bandel in Zurich at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at email@example.com