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Business

Rita Costs Hannover Re 150 Million Euros

Hannover Re, the world's third-biggest reinsurer, estimated Thursday that Hurricane Rita could knock up to 150 million euros ($180 million) off pre-tax earnings this year. The company was nevertheless sticking to its full-year earnings targets, a Hannover Re spokesman said. Hannover Re had already lowered its profit forecasts for 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, which devastated large areas of the southern United States in August. In the wake of that event, the reinsurer had said it was pencilling in earnings this year of around the same level as in 2004 when pre-tax profit totalled 309 million euros. Orginally, Hannover Re had been targeting profits of 430-470 million euros. "However, our current targets allow no room for any new sizeable damage claims," the spokesman said. On Wednesday, rival reinsurer Munich Re said it expected damage claims from hurricanes Katrina and Rita to knock around 650 million euros off its own bottom-line earnings this year. And Munich Re, the world's biggest insurer, put the total insured market losses from the two hurricanes at up to $40 billion.

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