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While premium income increased at the main units, property & casualty reinsurance and life & health reinsurance, net income declined. (AP Photo)

(Bloomberg) – Swiss Re AG, the world’s biggest reinsurer, reported lower first-quarter profit as the company bulked up its reserves and pricing in the industry remained under pressure.

Net income dropped to $1.23 billion from $1.44 billion a year earlier, the Zurich-based company said in statement on Friday. That beat the $969 million average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Swiss Re said the company benefited from the absence of large natural catastrophes, though “unfavorable” developments in earlier years including earthquakes in New Zealand prompted the company to bulk up its reserves.

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