Baloise First-Half Profit Rises 12% After Investment Gain

Baloise Holding AG (BALN), Switzerland’s third-biggest insurer, said first-half profit climbed 12 percent after higher non-life sales.

Net income rose to 244.8 million francs ($265 million), from 218.3 million francs in the year-before period, the Basel-based company said in a statement today.

Baloise reduced its return-on-equity goal earlier this year as low interest rates put pressure on investment returns. The 150-year-old insurer said it will also cut about 400 jobs by the end of 2017 as it targets annual savings of 40 million euros ($53.3 million) in Germany from 2015.

“Our core insurance business is performing well and is highly profitable, putting us firmly on track to achieve our financial targets,” Chief Executive Officer Martin Strobel said in the statement.

Baloise reported more than 50 million francs of claims, mainly relating to the floods in central Europe in June. That resulted in the insurer’s combined ratio, which shows spending on claims and costs as a percentage of premiums, worsening to 94.5 percent from 92.6 percent. A ratio above 100 percent means a loss from underwriting.

Baloise has climbed 24 percent this year in Zurich trading, valuing the company at 4.8 billion Swiss francs. That compares with a 12 percent gain for the 30-company Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index.

To contact the reporters on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net; Carolyn Bandel in Zurich at cbandel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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