Munich Re ups dividend after solid year in 2009

MUNICH RE posted forecast-beating full-year results yesterday boosted by a fortuitous combination of unusually low disaster claims and the momentum from a post-crisis revival on financial markets.

The world’s biggest reinsurer, in which US investor Warren Buffett has amassed a stake of more than five per cent, reported preliminary 2009 net profit of €2.56bn (£2.24bn), pipping the highest estimate in a Reuters poll and said it planned to increase its dividend to €5.75 per share from €5.50.

It added it aims to deliver at least €2bn in net profit in 2010 but chief financial officer Joerg Schneider cautioned the same circumstances may not be in place this year, predicting slightly lower investment returns. “I’d be surprised if we could repeat this €2.5-2.6bn in 2010,” he said.