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Munich Re earnings rise amid 'severe' Ukraine impacts

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Munich Re first-quarter earnings rose 3% to €608 million ($922.9 million) as repercussions from the war on Ukraine offset benefits from higher premiums and reduced natural catastrophe major losses.

“The financial consequences of the war and the sanctions severely impacted our result in the first quarter,” CFO Christoph Jurecka said.

“We made writedowns for impairment losses on Russian and Ukrainian bonds alike and recorded the first claims. Despite the uncertainties of a challenging environment, Munich Re maintains its annual guidance of €3.3 billion ($5 billion).”

The reinsurance business contributed €511 million ($775.7 million) to the result, up 24.6% as improved property and casualty earnings outweighed a loss in the life operations.

Expenditure related to the war in Ukraine reached slightly more than €100 million ($152 million) in some specialty lines, while natural catastrophe major losses came to €481 million ($730 million), compared to €646 million ($981 million) a year earlier. Events included heavy rainfall in eastern Australia and winter storms in Europe.

Life and health reported a loss of €78 million ($118.4 million) as the Omicron wave in the US drove covid-related losses of €150 million ($227.7 million).

Earnings from the Ergo primary insurance business dropped to €96 million ($146 million) from €178 million ($270 million) amid adverse effects from volatile capital markets and major losses in Germany.

The group’s investment result decreased to €987 million ($1.5 billion) from €1.69 billion ($2.57 billion).

Munich Re raised its forecast for gross written premium this year to €64 billion ($97 billion) from €61 billion ($92.6 billion) while leaving other targets unchanged.