* 2013 targets remain unchanged
* Growth market targets on track
(Adds CEO comment, growth details)
ZURICH Nov 29 Zurich Insurance Group said it
was on track to reduce costs in mature markets by $500 million
by 2013, with expenses cut by $200 million to date.
Zurich Chief Executive Martin Senn also said on Thursday the
group was making good progress towards achieving its targets for
2013, which were unchanged.
"These are very ambitious targets given that the environment
in which we are operating has become even more challenging in
2012," Senn said in a statement ahead of an investor briefing.
Zurich said its Global Life business is on track to reach
its 2013 target for 30 percent of new business to come from
Latin America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, with the value
already at 41 percent if Zurich Santander business is included.
The company said it was confident it could maintain an
attractive and sustainable dividend.
It reiterated its long-term target for a business operating
profit after tax return on equity of 16 percent, though it said
in the current tough environment returns could be reduced by two
Zurich has the highest dividend yield among the stocks in
the Swiss large cap index, with a payout of 7.4 percent
against Swisscom's 5.7 percent and 4.5 percent for
In the third quarter, a reassessment of the German
operation's loss reserves drove down net profits by $400
Many insurance claims, such as cases involving long-term
illness or medical negligence, are not made until years after a
policy has expired, and insurers routinely put money aside to
cover these so-called "long tail" liabilities.
(Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto; Editing by Helen