German reinsurer Munich Re is still aiming to achieve a year-end profit despite posting an operating loss of €437m in the first half of 2011.

The loss is a 119.7% drop from the operating profit of €2.22bn for the same period in 2010. But the reinsurer achieved an operating profit of €947m for the second quarter, down 35% from €1.45bn in Q2 2010.

Munich Re chairman Nikolaus von Bomhard, attributed first half losses with 2011 natural catastrophes but said the result is to be expected. "It was an exceptional accumulation of major losses, but that is precisely what reinsurance is for. After all, a well-developed and functioning insurance and reinsurance system helps to overcome disasters of this scale."

Gross premiums written were up 10.3% to €24.9bn (22.6bn), with €12.0bn attributable to the second quarter.

Combined operating ratios for the reinsurance sector remained unprofitable, rising 26.7 percentage points to 133.1% from 106.4% at 30 June 2010. Primary insurance combined ratios remained flat and profitable at 96.5% (H1 2010: 96.6), while health dropped to a profitable 99.7% from 100.4% in H1 2010.