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Hannover Re posts record profit


HANOVER, Germany—Reinsurer Hannover Re Group had its best earnings results last year in the company's history due in part to fewer disaster claims, the company reported Wednesday.

The group net profit was €514.4 million (US$678.2 million) in 2006, compared with €49.3 million (US$65.16 million) in 2005.

"Not only did we meet our targets, we surpassed them and recorded the highest group net income in our company's history," Wilhelm Zeller, Hannover Re's chief executive officer said.

In 2005, the reinsurer was impacted by the severe hurricane season and other catastrophe losses, the company said.

Gross premium volume of €9.3 billion in 2006 remained unchanged from the previous year, the company said.

Hannover Re noted that all segments of its property and casualty reinsurance business were profitable.

"On balance, rate increases were obtained for the seventh time in succession," Mr. Zeller said.

This was made possible by the adjustment of pricing models to reflect losses during the 2005 hurricane season and the shortage of reinsurance capacity for catastrophe covers. In this segment, "rate increases of 100% or more were achieved," the company said.