SWITZERLAND - Zurich Financial Services has cut its dividend following a severe knock to its profits after September 11.
The Swiss insurer cited difficult market conditions as net profits were down $387m on last year to $348m.
Total premium volume increased by 13% to US$56bn.
Zurich said its results - calculated using the International Accounting Standard -were hit by the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, which contributed net insurance losses of around $706m. The firm also drew attention to higher than expected asbestos claims and lower results from discontinued operations.
Choppy markets were also blamed for drops in life insurance and asset management profits
ZFS - which sold its investment arm, Zurich Scudder Investments, to Deutsche Bank for $2.5bn last year - proposed a CHF8 gross dividend; more than 50% down on CHF17.5 per share in 2000.
By Madhu Kalia
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