(Reuters) – Zurich Insurance said on Thursday it would raise its dividend by 9% even as net profit fell in 2022, weighed down by smaller capital gains.
Also negative in profit were losses on divestitures, such as the sale of its back-book in Italy, as well as a charge related to inflation in Argentina, the insurer said.
Net income attributable to shareholders fell to $4.603 billion in 2022, down from $5.202 billion the previous year and slightly better than analysts’ expectations for net income of $4.546 billion.
“These were tough years with unexpected challenges during which we had to be very agile and focused on our goals,” said CEO Mario Greco.
The insurer plans to increase the dividend to 24 Swiss francs ($26.16) per share from 22 francs.
In November, the company set more ambitious financial targets for the next three years as insurers are expected to benefit from rising premium rates.
Insurance companies worldwide have suffered losses from unexpected events such as the covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and major natural disasters. They have responded by raising prices and limiting coverage, in order to protect their profits.