German reinsurer Hannover Re has reported a net income drop of 30% but has increased its GWP growth in its first half interim results.

Group net income dropped to €218.5m from €310.6m in the first half of 2010.

Hannover Re said net incomes were “favourably influenced” by a tax refund including accrued interest in an amount of €124m as a consequence of last year's decision of the Federal Fiscal Court.

Gross written premiums for the group rose 6.4% to €6.04bn from €5.68bn in 2010. Chief executive Ulrich Wallin said the growth in GWP was due to a continuation of market trends towards a hardening reinsurance market following first half natural catastrophes.

"It is our expectation that this tendency will continue in the second half of 2011, and for 2012 too we are looking to further positive movement in reinsurance premiums", continued Wallin.

But combined operating ratios for the non-life reinsurance sector rose to an unprofitable 110.3% from 99.5% in H1 2010.