Munich Re 2010 profit edges lower to 2.43 billion euros
The German re-insurance giant Munich Re reported Thursday a 2010 net profit of 2.43 billion euros ($3.35 billion) "despite substantial major losses," and said it would raise its dividend.
The net result represented a slide of five percent from the 2009 figure of 2.56 billion euros.
"Despite weighty major losses, which also affected us at the end of the year, we are presenting a good result," a statement quoted finance director Joerg Schneider as saying. "Our shareholders are to benefit without delay."
The group's board will recommend an increased dividend of 6.25 euros per share, compared with 5.75 euros in 2009.
Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a 2010 net profit of 2.46 billion euros.
Munich Re also planned to buy back shares worth 500 million euros before its annual general meeting in 2012, the statement said.
Gross premiums written by the group last year gained almost 10 percent to 45.5 billion euros.
The world's biggest re-insurance company in terms of gross premiums was hit like its rivals by a series of natural disasters last year, the largest of which for Munich Re was "the devastating earthquake in Chile," it said.
Total losses from such catastrophes amounted to around 1.56 billion euros last year.
An earthquake in New Zealand and flooding in northeastern Australia lead to respective claims of 340 million euros and 270 million.
Looking ahead, Munich Re said only that in 2011, it "expects a somewhat better technical result than in 2010 and a consolidated result of around the same level."
© 2011 AFP