Munich Re profit rebounds on lower disaster losses

Tuesday 12 March 2013 18.08
Superstorm Sandy cost Munich Re about €800m
Superstorm Sandy cost Munich Re about €800m

German reinsurer Munich Re saw profit more than quadruple last year as payouts for natural disasters fell and the company moved past losses on Greek bonds.

Reinsurance companies write backup insurance for primary insurers so the industry can handle catastrophic losses.

Munich Re said its net profit came in at €3.2 billion compared with last year's €712m. Revenue from gross premiums rose by 5% to €5.1 billion.

The 2011 result was hampered by losses on bonds issued by crisis-stricken Greece, which struck a deal to have creditors take less than they were owed. 

Expenses for natural disasters fell to €1.3 billion from €4.5 billion in 2011.

The biggest 2012 expense was Superstorm Sandy, which hit the east coast of the US in October and cost Munich Re around €800m.

The company said it expects profits of about €3 billion this year, and said it would raise its dividend payout to 7.00 per share for 2012 from 6.25 per share the previous year.

Reinsurance companies write backup insurance for primary insurers so the industry can handle catastrophic losses.