Hannover Re upbeat on 2011 as profits rise

HANNOVER Re has predicted it will comfortably reach its 2011 profit target, barring extraordinary damage claims and with only limited impact from the US and Eurozone debt crises.

The world’s third-biggest reinsurer also unveiled forecast beating second-quarter net profit of €166m (£143.9m) yesterday. This was up about four per cent from a year earlier and compared with analysts’ expectations for a four per cent fall.

While big disaster claims from earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand left their mark earlier this year, forcing Hannover Re to abandon its initial €650m net profit target, the company said it was confident of reaching the less ambitious goal it set for itself in May.

“Our Group net income ... for the first half-year should enable us – given a normal experience in the second half of the year – to comfortably attain our targeted year-end profit of around €500m,” Hannover Re chief executive officer Ulrich Wallin said.

The target assumes that major claims will not exceed €295m in the second half, the company said. Hannover Re also avoided the writedowns on Greek government debt that tripped up some insurers like Munich Re and Allianz in the second quarter.