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Munich latest reinsurer to post strong figures


MUNICH, Germany—Munich Reinsurance Company is the latest big European insurance and reinsurance group to post healthy figures for the first half of 2007, and has increased its profit forecast for the full year.

The Germany-based group reported today that it had already reached two-thirds of its full year profit target and has now set its sights on a new record result for the full year.

Group written premiums are roughly level at €18.9 billion ($26.2 billion) which helped produce a record net profit of €2.1 billion ($2.9 billion) in the first half of the year.

This came despite a number of major losses that hit both its reinsurance and primary books such as the €450 million ($621.9 million) loss incurred by Winter Storm Kyrill and more recently floods in the United Kingdom, and a major storm in Australia.

The company expects tax reform in Germany to deliver it a one-off gain of about €400 million ($552.8 million) in the third quarter.

If the capital markets behave normally and the loss experience during the last two quarters are average, then the group expects to report a profit of €3.5 billion ($4.8 billion) to €3.8 billion ($5.3 billion), up from the original €3 billion ($4.1 billion) to €3.2 billion ($4.4 billion) forecast.

Premium income will be down slightly to between €36.5 billion ($50.4 billion) to €37.5 billion ($51.8 billion), the reinsurance combined ratio will be 97% and the primary business (led by Düsseldorf-based ERGO Insurance Group) should fall below 95%, said chairman Nikolaus von Bomhard.