Brought to you by:

Munich Re posts ‘impressive’ Q1 result

Munich Re says the odds of surpassing its earnings guidance of €5 billion ($8.2 billion) for the year have improved after net profit jumped 68% in the first quarter.

Major losses fell to €650 million ($1.06 billion) in the quarter, with man-made disasters totalling €418 million ($681.61 million). The largest individual loss was the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore in March. 

CFO Christoph Jurecka declined to say what the reinsurer expects the bridge collapse to cost, saying: “It can only be misleading because it would signal we understand the situation, which we frankly do not very well at this point in time.

“It’s a very, very complex claim – it's very early days to really understand what’s going on. The range around our best estimate is significantly higher than it would be usually with some of our man-made losses, which means the number could be significantly lower or higher than we booked. Uncertainties are very high.”

The 2.6-kilometre bridge collapsed when a container ship hit a support pylon. AM Best has said the total cost could run into the billions of dollars.

Munich Re’s first-quarter net profit was €2.14 billion ($3.49 billion), helped by a reinsurance combined ratio of 75.3% in property and casualty that was “substantially better than expected”. It has forecast 82% for the full year.

At April reinsurance renewals, the volume of business written rose 6% to €2.6 billion ($4.24 billion) and prices were 0.7% lower.

“We got a boost from the treaty renewals at April 1, where we tapped into attractive growth opportunities against a backdrop of continuing high rates,” Mr Jurecka said. “Despite market pressure increasing slightly, Munich Re expects the environment to remain positive in the upcoming July renewal round.”

Overall, the financial year began “with great momentum”, he says. “Every line of business played a role in this impressive performance. We still expect to generate a profit of €5 billion in 2024. In fact, it has become more likely that we will surpass that target.”