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Swiss Reinsurance Co experiences drop in third-quarter earnings

Swiss Reinsurance Co., the world's largest reinsurer, got 5 percent drop in third-quarter earnings due to poor performance in its financial services unit.

Swiss Re said its net income in the three months ended Sept. 30 was 1.47 billion Swiss francs (US$1.28 billion; 881 million EUR) compared with 1.55 billion francs in the same period last year.

Analysts had expected a weaker result and predicted a quarterly net profit of 1.16 billion francs (US$1.01 billion; 695 million EUR), according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Quarterly earnings per share were 4.20 francs (US$3.65; 2.52 EUR), 3 percent lower than last year.

"Overall, Swiss Re's earnings of 4 billion (US$3.48 billion; 2.4 billion EUR) for the year to date, which represents an increase of 23 percent year on year, points towards a successful full year, assuming an average level of natural catastrophes." Swiss Re's Chief Executive Jacques Aigrain said.

Reinsurance companies sell backup coverage to other insurers, spreading risk so the system can handle huge losses from major disasters.

Shares in Swiss Re rose 0.9 percent to close at 102.70 francs (US$89.72; 61.68 EUR) in Zurich.