Munich Re in the red after disasters

GERMAN reinsurer Munich Re took a €2.7bn (£2.4bn) catastrophe loss in the first-quarter of 2011, pushing it to a €1.4bn operating loss from a €770m profit in the same period in 2010, it said yesterday.

Chairman Nikolaus von Bomhard warned that 2011 would “place more of a strain on us than the three preceding years of global financial and economic crisis.”

But chief finance officer Jörg Schneider said it still expected to achieve a profit for the year, while the company said it expected catastrophe premium rates to rise as a result.

“In loss-affected regions such as Australia and New Zealand, prices are likely to rise considerably,” it said.

It wrote €13bn of gross premiums in the quarter, up 11.3 per cent on 2010.