Few disasters mean bumper Q1 for Munich Re

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) –


Profits leapt at German reinsurance giant Munich Re in the first quarter, the group said Tuesday, confirming its outlook for the year as fewer disasters ate into the bottom line.

Net profit attributable to shareholders at the group reached 826 million euros ($984 million) between January and March, up 49.2 percent year-on-year.

Operating, or underlying profit grew more slowly, adding 34.8 percent to reach almost 1.3 billion euros, while gross premiums written -- the equivalent of revenue at an insurance company -- increased 1.6 percent to 13.1 billion.

In the first three months, Munich Re paid out just 62 million euros for major losses costing more than 10 million euros per incident, far short of the 403-million-euro blow inflicted by man-made and natural disasters in the same period last year.

Chief executive Joerg Schneider pronounced himself "very satisfied" with the quarter, sticking to the group's expectation of annual net profit between 2.1 and 2.5 billion euros in 2018.

Munich Re's ambitions are roughly in line with its original guidance for 2017 before a series of catastrophes ground net profit down to 375 million euros.