Reinsurer Hannover Re not blown away by storm damages | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 05.11.2013
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Reinsurer Hannover Re not blown away by storm damages

The world's third-largest reinsurer, Hannover Re of Germany, has said it is well on track to achieving its full-year targets. It said objectives would be met despite huge storm damage claims and low interest rates.

Hannover Re said Tuesday it was satisfied with the development of its core business in the first nine months of the year.

"Despite challenging market conditions, and particularly in view of the low interest rate level, we generated group net income of 613 million euros ($828 million) and are thus well on track to achieve our full-year target in the order of 800 million euros," CEO Ulrich Wallin said in a statement.

He said the outlook was conditional upon major losses not significantly exceeding expectations and the assumption that there would be no unforeseen downturns on capital markets.

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Flashback: Catastrophic year for reinsurers

The reinsurer put a positive spin on earnings so far, despite net profits falling both in the third quarter and on a nine-month basis. Hannover Re explained that comparable 2012 figures were artificially inflated by one-off effects and an unusually low burden from natural catastrophes, leaving the company with a 22.6-percent year-on-year drop in earnings in the third quarter alone.

The company saw hailstorm-related damage claims eat into its profits, with the burden from large natural disasters amounting to 446.7 million euros so far this year.

Hannover Re said it expected more big payouts in the final quarter due to the large-scale damages caused by autumn storm "Christian" which swept across much of France, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany towards the end of October.

hg/tj (Reuters, AFP)

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