Reinsurance giant made a "clear profit" in Q1 despite catastrophe losses

Munich Re is paying a dividend of €5.75 per share for the 2009 financial year (2008: €5.50), a total payout of nearly €1.1bn to its shareholders.

In the first quarter of 2010, Munich Re said it achieved a "clear profit, despite heavy burdens from natural catastrophes." In 2010, Munich Re is aiming for a profit of over €2bn.

Reflecting on its 2009 financial year and €2.56bn profit, chief executive Nikolaus von Bomhard said at today’s Annual General Meeting: “We are all proud of this result in the Group, which surpassed the market’s expectations. It is founded on our broadly based business model with its diversification effects, the consistently economic and risk-based management of our business, and our fundamentally prudent approach.”

Von Bomhard also confirmed Munich Re's target for 2010: “We are again aiming for a consolidated result of over €2bn.”

So far in 2010 severe natural catastrophes have included the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, Winter Storm Xynthia over western Europe, severe weather events in Australia, and most recently a strong earthquake in China.

Munich Re said it expects a gross claims burden from natural catastrophes in the region of €700m for the first quarter, with around €500m stemming solely from the earthquake in Chile.

“Carrying risks is our core competence – this includes reinsuring losses from natural catastrophes of the sort we have already witnessed this year. The result for the first quarter will show that we are on track to meet our target for the year,” said Von Bomhard.

He concluded: “With our competence in the management of risks, our innovation capacity and our proximity to clients, we have a competitive edge that will continue to make Munich Re successful as a group in the future.”

Munich Re will publish detailed figures for the first quarter of 2010, on May 7.