Hannover Re says quake claims cut outlook

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The German reinsurance group Hannover Re cut its 2011 profit outlook on Tuesday because of exceptional costs from first-quarter catastrophes, notably in Japan.

The group now forecasts a 2011 net profit of about 500 million euros ($740 million), a statement said, sharply lower than its previous estimate of 650 million euros.

In the first quarter of the year, earnings were hit by major disasters and net profit was divided by three from the same period a year earlier to 52.3 million euros.

Charges linked to natural catastrophes more than doubled meanwhile to 572 million euros.

Of that sum, 232 million resulted from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and 152 million from the quake in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The German reinsurance company managed to make up some of that with a 10.3-percent increase in gross premiums to 3.1 billion euros and solid earnings from investments.

Hannover Re also benefited from the reimbursement of some taxes paid between 1993 and 2011, the statement said.

© 2011 AFP

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