May 9, 2019 / 5:24 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Zurich Insurance Q1 reported premiums slip

(Adds details and background)

ZURICH, May 9 (Reuters) - Zurich Insurance is on track to meet or beat its financial targets for 2017 to 2019, it said on Thursday while reporting first-quarter declines in premiums at its property and casualty (P&C) and life insurance businesses.

"P&C pricing trends have improved in the first quarter and the group's life business continues to perform strongly. Farmers Exchanges are also delivering on their key strategic priorities, positively impacting our fee income," Chief Financial Officer George Quinn said in a statement.

P&C gross written premiums fell 2 percent to $9.18 billion and were up 4 percent in local currencies and adjusted for acquisitions and divestments. Life annual premium equivalent (APE) fell a reported 6 percent to $1.18 billion, up 2 percent on a like-for-like basis.

Europe's fifth-biggest insurer gave no profit figures for the quarter. Quinn had said in February he expected the group's top line to be flat this year, with a last tranche of about $400 million in savings the main earnings driver.

P&C premiums for the first three months declined in dollar terms mainly as a result of currency movements and the disposal of its ADAC business in Germany, Zurich said. Prices increased around 2 percent.

The dollar's strength against other currencies also contributed to the decline in reported life new business APE, it said. (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Slke Koltrowitz)

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