Zurich Insurance posted a better-than-expected annual operating profit on Thursday and announced a share buyback of up to 1.1 billion Swiss francs ($1.25 billion), as insurers ride out the impact of a global pandemic, wars and climate disasters.

Operating profit at Europe’s fifth-largest insurer rose 21% to a record $7.4 billion for the year to Dec. 31, beating the $7.1 billion average estimate in an analyst poll compiled by the company.

Insurers have coped well with unexpected claims in recent years from issues such as COVID-19, natural catastrophes and the war in Ukraine, mainly by raising premiums and excluding some business.

However, they face further risks of war or damage-related losses this year from any broader fall-out from the Israel-Gaza conflict and from elections in many countries, including the United States. Climate change is also contributing to greater losses from hurricanes and wildfires.

“It’s been a pretty unstable world for quite a long time, the group has been very resilient through that,” Chief Financial Officer George Quinn told a media call.

“There’s no reason to expect any of that to change.”

Zurich last year set more ambitious three-year financial targets, including a 2025 goal for business operating profit after tax return on equity (BOPAT ROE) of more than 20 percent. BOPAT ROE for 2023 came in at 23.1 percent.

“One year into the three-year plan we are beating or running to beat all the targets for 2025,” Chief Executive Mario Greco said on a media call.

Zurich raised its guidance for compound annual EPS growth to more than 10%, compared with its original target of 8 percent.

Rival AXA on Thursday set new targets, including estimated compound annual growth in underlying earnings per share of 6-8 percent for the 2023-2026 period.

Greco said that Zurich would “reconsider the opportunities” for its German life back book after its plan to offload the $20 billion portfolio to Viridium Holding fell through last month.

Zurich’s shares were up 2 percent at 0834 GMT, outperforming a 1.4 percent rise in European insurance stocks

Zurich said it planned to increase its dividend by 8 percent to 26 Swiss francs per share.

($1 = 0.8778 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn and Miranda Murray; editing by Bartosz Dabrowski, Rashmi Aich, David Goodman and Hugh Lawson)