* Co not to launch second tranche of share buy-back programme
* Net profit in line with expectations (Updates with details, background)
FRANKFURT, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Swiss Re, the world’s No.2 reinsurer, said on Thursday it would not go ahead with a second tranche of share buybacks due to big claims from natural and man-made catastrophes, after it posted profit in line with expectations for the first nine months.
The Zurich-based company highlighted losses from typhoon Faxai in Japan and hurricane Dorian in the Atlantic. It also pointed to claims from an Ethiopian Airlines crash, grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, and the liquidation of Thomas Cook.
Net profit rose 23% to $1.34 billion during the period, from $1.09 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected a net profit of $1.37 billion, according to Reuters calculations and Refinitiv data.
“Despite multiple large natural catastrophe and man-made claims affecting the business, our capital position remains very strong,” said Chief Financial Officer John Dacey.
Swiss Re’s combined ratio in its property and casualty division, a key measure of profitability, was 101.4% in the first nine months, versus 99.5% a year earlier. Readings below 100 indicate profitability, and the company said it expected the division’s ratio to be about 98% this year.
The corporate insurance arm reported a net loss of $441 million, widening from a $5 million loss a year ago. Swiss Re said it was reducing risk at the business. (Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Rashmi Aich)
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