The world's biggest reinsurer, Germany's Munich Re, has said it aims to keep its earnings stable this year despite a number of problems on global markets. The announcement came on the back of soaring profits in 2012.
The German reinsurer said Tuesday it was aware of a rather difficult business environment in 2013, citing the consolidation of state finances and high unemployment in many industrialized nations as factors which might hamper economic momentum.
But Munich Re said it remained optimistic about its annual business nonetheless. "For 2013, we're aiming for a result of close to three billion euros ($3.9 billion)," Chief Executive Nikolaus von Bomhard said in a statement.
The reinsurer anticipated its gross premiums to range between 50 to 52 billion euros, depending on the stability of exchange rates.
Munich Re's positive outlook came in the wake of a 2012 earnings report which saw the company's net profit soar to 3.2 billion euros from just 711 million euros a year earlier.
The reinsurer said the main reason behind the surge in earnings were lower losses from natural disasters which amounted to 1.3 billion euros last year, with Superstorm Sandy being the biggest loss event for the firm in 2012. It cost the company some 800 million euros before tax.
The company's youngest subsidiary, Munich Health, will see through management changes after incurring a loss of 92 million euros in 2012. The supervisory board announced it would part with Munich Health CEO Wolfgang Strassl towards the end of the current year after the subsidiary's massive business problems in the US and elsewhere.
hg/jlw (Reuters, AFP)