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Reinsurer reports

11 August 2004 Angelo Coppola

(10.8.04) Swiss Re's African operations have reported strong profits in 2003, according to the company's annual report.

In 2003 Swiss Re Africa Ltd, the Johannesburg based property and casualty operation, recorded an after tax profit of R47 million after a loss of R39 million in 2002.

Swiss Re Life and Health Africa Ltd generated an after tax profit of R302 million in 2003 compared with the R18 million loss in 2002.

In a positive market environment Swiss Re's property and casualty business increased premiums by 26% to R1.9 billion.

At a combined ratio of 100.8% the underwriting result (premium less claims, commission and expenses) reflects sound underwriting and the absence of major natural disasters. The investment portfolio of R946 million generated an investment income of R71 million compared with R125 million in 2002.

Alexander Weissleder, Managing Director of Swiss Re Africa, comments: "Going forward current levels of premium rates will be maintained with selective rate increases in individual lines of business. Rigorous risk management will continue during 2004."

With a return to profitability, the 2003 financial year also proved to be successful for Swiss Re Life and Health Africa Ltd. The better performance of the investment markets, impressive growth on the life portfolio and cost containment positively impacted the overall result that saw a turn-around from a loss of R18m in 2002 to an after tax profit of R302m in 2003.

David O'Sullivan, who was appointed as Managing Director of Swiss Re Life and Health Africa Ltd in April 2004, remarked: "Building on the positive results in 2003 Swiss Re Life and Health Africa will continue to seek new opportunities for growth through the provision of innovative solutions to clients' risk and capital management needs."

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