- Munich Reinsurance Company's Annual General Meeting: Shareholders adopt proposals of Supervisory Board and Board of Management by large majorities
- Unchanged dividend of €1.25 per share
- Profit of €534m in first quarter
- Improved combined ratio of 96.3% in reinsurance
- von Bomhard: "Our hard work is bearing fruit"
1) First-quarter profit
"We have made a good start to the year. Our reinsurance business is continuing to go well, primary insurance has returned to the profit zone, and the investment result is back to normal. The first-quarter profit of €534m (Q1/2003: -€557m*) and combined ratios of 96.3% (96.8%) in non-life reinsurance and 95.4% (98.5%) in property-casualty insurance show that we are on the right track" said Nikolaus von Bomhard, Chairman of Munich Re's Board of Management. Gross premiums fell by 4.3%, albeit from a high level, to €10.4bn. The Group's investment result totalled €1,854m (-€812m*), and shareholders' equity increased to €19.5bn (end of December 2003: €18.9bn). Details of Munich Re quarterly financial statements will be published as planned on 3 June 2004.
2) Great interest from shareholders
Since the last AGM the number of shareholders has risen to around 178,000 (143,000), partly as a result of the very successful rights issue in October. In the past five years, the number of shareholders has thus quadrupled, with the free float increasing from around 37% to over 80%. More than 3,400 shareholders attended Munich Re's AGM this year, compared with 3,800 last year.
3) Three main thrusts of action for a profitable future
In his report to shareholders at the AGM, von Bomhard named three main thrusts of action for sustaining the Group's profitability in future:
§ Safeguard and build on the profitability of reinsurance business
The disciplined, risk-commensurate underwriting policy of recent years is already having a distinctly positive effect. In the business year 2003, Munich Re more than met its target with a combined ratio of 96.7%. In the first quarter of 2004, the ratio fell further to 96.3%, thanks to improved prices and conditions as well as to fortuitously more favourable claims experience.
§ Return primary insurance to the profit zone so that it makes an appropriate contribution to the Munich Re Group's result again
With its decision regarding a new management organisation in April, ERGO has created an important basis for future profitability. There will be consistent management by business segment in the ERGO Group, with accountability for results being more clearly allocated and made transparent. ERGO will become quicker and more efficient in its back office operations, whilst maintaining its strong presence in the market with its range of brands and distribution channels.
§ Optimise the return for shareholders with improved integrated risk management
Balance sheet risks are to be further reduced or limited, with investments and underwriting liabilities being more finely attuned.
4) Munich Reinsurance Company dividend
The AGM approved payment of an unchanged dividend of €1.25 per share. The overall amount distributed for the past business year will thus amount to €286m (€223m).
5) Elections to the Supervisory Board
The term of office of the Supervisory Board members expired at the end of today's AGM. All representatives of the shareholders were re-elected by the meeting in accordance with the proposals of the Supervisory Board.
At its constituent meeting directly following the AGM, the Supervisory Board elected Dr. Hans-Jürgen Schinzler as its Chairman. His predecessor in this office, Ulrich Hartmann, had announced last year that he would give up the Chairmanship.
signed Dr. von Bomhard signed Küppers
This media information contains forward-looking statements that are based on current assumptions and forecasts of the management of Munich Re. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the forward-looking statements given here and the actual development, in particular the results, financial situation and performance of our Company. The Company assumes no liability to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.