December 5, 2018 / 6:26 AM / 11 days ago

Zurich Insurance says on track to meet 2019 targets

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss Zurich insurance is seen at an office building in Zurich, Switzerland October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Zurich Insurance (ZURN.S) is on track to achieve its financial targets for the 2017-2019 period, the Swiss insurer said in a statement on Wednesday ahead of its investor day.

“Zurich Insurance Group is fully delivering on its 2017-2019 financial targets, having restored management discipline and efficiency,” the company said.

The insurer said it will achieve net savings of $1.1 billion (866 million pounds) by the end of 2018, in line with its end-2019 target of $1.5 billion.

“We are fully delivering on the financial targets that we set out back in 2016,” said Group Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco. “Two years into our strategic cycle we are a very different company from the one we were in 2016.”

Greco, brought in from Generali (GASI.MI) in 2016, has overseen an overhaul at Zurich, promising to make it more efficient and cutting costs.

Zurich’s shares have gained 5.3 percent this year, outperforming the broader insurance sector, with the Stoxx 600 Insurance Euro Price Index losing 4.3 percent.

Insurers across the globe have been restructuring their businesses to cope with competitive and regulatory pressures, including pricing pressures, and last year’s record losses from natural disasters.

Zurich is aiming for 12 percent between 2017 and 2019. For the first six months of 2018 it achieved a level of 12.3 percent, and had achieved cumulative expense savings of $900 million.

Last month, it reported a 2 percent rise in nine-month property and casualty premiums.

Reporting by John Revill, edited by John Miller

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