Munich Re posts heavy Q1 loss, says 2011 profit possible

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The world's biggest reinsurance company, Munich Re, unveiled Monday a sharp first quarter loss owing to major disasters in the Asia Pacific region, but said it should still make a profit this year.

Munich Re suffered a net loss of 948 million euros ($1.37 billion) in the three months from January to the end of March, compared with a profit of 485 billion euros in the same period a year earlier, a statement said.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast an even bigger loss of arund 1.1 billion euros.

The slump was widely anticipated following earthquake and weather-related catastrophes in Japan, Australia and New Zealand early this year.

For 2011 as a whole, Munich Re said it expected to turn a profit, without giving a detailed figure.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan forced the German group to ditch its previous forecast for a net profit of 2.4 billion euros this year.

© 2011 AFP

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