Munich Re Group:
- Net profit of around €1.8bn expected for 2004 / Proposed dividend of €2.00 (previous year: €1.25)
- Non-life reinsurance: Renewal of treaty business at 1 January 2005 very successful "despite some Cassandra-like prophecies" / Overall premium volume from this sector maintained, with very promising earnings prospects for 2005
- The Munich Re Group's excellent result for 2004 of approximately €1.8bn was largely due to further very satisfactory results in the reinsurance sector. But the primary insurance sector also contributed appreciably to net income, with ERGO making a striking return to the profit zone; cost savings and the absence of exceptional burdens on the investment result produced an annual profit of €202m (previous year: –€1,431m). By contrast, American Re's profit for 2004 dropped to US$ 103m, owing to high claims costs from the autumn cyclones and reserve strengthening of US$ 482m. Given the good development of the Group's result, the Board of Management will propose to the Supervisory Board and -subject to the latter's consent – to the AGM that an increased dividend of €2.00 (1.25) be paid by the Company for its 125th year of business.
- In the non-life reinsurance market, the bulk of treaty business is customarily concluded for the period of one calendar year. In Munich Re's case, nearly two-thirds of this business (i.e. excluding life reinsurance and facultative business) with a premium volume of around €9.4bn was renegotiated as at 1 January 2005. The Munich Re Group's reinsurers continued to adhere to their ambitious, profit-oriented underwriting policy worldwide. They consequently gave up individual accounts with a total business volume of €754m where, as in the USA for example, their requirements could not be met. On the other hand, they succeeded in acquiring new business of €782m in other markets such as China. They were able to agree prices and conditions for renewals and new business that met their objectives and reflected the increased risks. Dr. Torsten Jeworrek, member of Munich Re's Board of Management: "Despite some early Cassandra-like prophecies regarding the general state of the reinsurance market, Munich Re is starting the year 2005 with a portfolio which again promises a good level of profitability, given normal claims experience. In the forthcoming renewals at 1 April (including Japan and Korea) and 1 July (Australia, parts of the US market and Latin America), we will be sticking to our business line of profitability and added value. Apart from the risk-bearing capacity we offer, primary insurers seek us out as treaty partners in particular for our expertise, reliability and flexibility." Renewals in the three previous years were characterised by a swift adjustment of prices and conditions to take account of significantly increased risks and liabilities. The renewals at 1 January 2005 have now resulted for Munich Re in stabilisation at the high level reached. Global competition has intensified, with differing trends in individual areas, especially in the case of claims-free treaties, but the large losses from the windstorm events in the Atlantic and Pacific and the low level of interest rates worldwide have meant that many market players have maintained a disciplined approach. Torsten Jeworrek: "As a result of these renewals, our premium volume for 2005 in non-life reinsurance should reach the same high level as last year in original currencies. Most clients understand and accept our underwriting policy, especially as they themselves apply the same economic criteria to their own business."
A presentation on the 2004/05 renewals can be viewed at www.munichre.com Munich Re's balance sheet conference will take place at 9.30 a.m. on 15 March 2005.
signed Jeworrek 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.