Hannover Re beats estimates and says it is on track for year

HANNOVER Re beat expectations with net profit of €163.2m (£138.3m) in the third quarter, after investment income declined by less than expected in the euro debt crisis.

The world’s third-biggest reinsurer had been expected to post quarterly net profit of €134m, sharply lower than the €271m of the year-earlier quarter, when earnings were boosted by a one-off tax gain.

“This puts in place a good platform for achieving our profit target of at least €500m for the full financial year”, chief executive Ulrich Wallin said in a statement yesterday.

The company said it aimed to pay a dividend for the 2011 financial year that could even exceed 40 per cent of group net income, the upper end of its 35-40 per cent target range.

Quarterly investment income fell by 13 per cent, which was less than the 20 per cent drop analysts had expected.

Hannover Re earlier this year abandoned its initial net profit target of earning €650m in 2011 following the devastating earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and floods in Australia, which racked up billions of euros in insured damages.