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Lower cat bill drives Munich Re earnings

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Munich Re made a net profit of €2.3 billion ($3.7 billion) last year, up from €392 million ($727 million) in 2017 when earnings were squeezed by record hurricane losses.

Natural catastrophe losses fell by more than half to €1.26 billion ($2 billion), including €697 million ($1.11 billion) in the fourth quarter alone.

Man-made major losses increased to €896 million ($1.4 billion) from €636 million ($1.02 billion).

“We are very satisfied with the overall result… we increased our profit and achieved our result target,” CFO Christoph Jurecka said.

Overall gross written premium was steady at €49 billion ($78.12 billion), but operating profit tripled to €3.73 billion ($5.95 billion).

The property and casualty reinsurance arm returned to the black with a €1.14 billion ($1.82 billion) profit, recovering from a €476 million ($762 million) loss, and the combined operating ratio improved to 99.4% from 114.1%.

Munich Re expects the market environment to improve at the April renewals, because treaties in regions with significant claims last year, such as Japan, will be up for negotiation.