On Thursday, Zurich reported stronger-than-expected growth in operating profit in 2023, and delivered an outlook for 2024 that exceeded market expectations.

The Swiss insurer reported record operating income of $7.4 billion last year, up 21% year-on-year, against analysts' expectations of $7.1 billion.

The Group plans to offer its shareholders a dividend up 8% to 26 Swiss francs per share, to be accompanied by a share buyback program of up to 1.1 billion Swiss francs.

For 2024, Zurich now expects average annual growth in earnings per share (EPS) of more than 10% over the period 2023-2025, a target higher than consensus estimates and the 8% forecast communicated at its 2022 investor day.

With a gain of almost 3%, Zurich was the biggest riser on the Swiss stock exchange's SMI index on Thursday in the wake of this publication.

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