Munich Reinsurance Company's Annual General Meeting
- Proposals of Supervisory Board and Board of Management adopted by large majority of shareholders
- Dividend of €2 per share for 2004, a 60% increase
- Business performance in 2005 "on track"
- Reinsurance renewals at 1 April positive
- Munich Re – 125 years: Anniversary initiatives
1) Optimistic outlook for the business year 2005
"In the business year 2004, we recorded an excellent result of €1.8bn and we intend to continue along this successful path", said Nikolaus von Bomhard, Chairman of Munich Re's Board of Management, in his address to the shareholders. In the year under review, the underwriting result improved by 50% to €3bn in terms of the profit before amortisation of goodwill.
In the anniversary year 2005, the Group is aiming for an ambitious return on equity of 12% after tax. "We are currently on track." This is still the case, despite the fact that the quarter showed a random increase in the costs for major losses compared with the same quarter last year.
The renewal of reinsurance treaties at the beginning of the year had already been successful for Munich Re, and the recent renewals at 1 April in Japan and Korea also met the reinsurers' high expectations. Here, the Group increased its business volume and again improved the profitability of its portfolio at generally stable conditions.
2) Munich Re – 125 years: Turning risk into value
"Risk has been the nucleus of Munich Re's operations for 125 years, representing both opportunity and challenge. Carrying risk is our business and our aim is to turn risk into value", said von Bomhard at the Annual General Meeting. He sees the Group's unique risk knowledge and diversification of business in primary insurance and reinsurance and across all lines of business as solid foundations for a profitable future.
Innovation and initiative are designed not only to secure Munich Re's economic success, but also to further its social commitment. The new Munich Re Foundation, with a capitalisation of €50m, will support people in risk situations through its global project work. It will examine overarching aspects of such topics as water, population development, climate change, disaster prevention and poverty, and work out sustainable solutions for risk management through a networking of knowledge and resources.
On top of this, as part of its anniversary events, Munich Re will be staging an exhibition at the Haus der Kunst entitled "CHANCE : RISIKO" from 1 July to 1 November, where visitors will be able to experience that risk is not only a potential hazard but also an opportunity. Guided tours and audioguides will be provided in several languages; the risk magazine accompanying the risk exhibition will be available in German and English. At this year's German National Garden Festival BUGA 05, which opened its doors to the public on the same day as Munich Re's AGM in München-Riem, Munich Re is sponsoring one of the "cells" in the twelve-part event garden dealing with the subject of weather change. It will also present its competence in the area of climate change in the "Climate House".
3) Resolutions at the Annual General Meeting
The AGM adopted all the proposals of the Supervisory Board and Board of Management by large majorities.
- It voted for a dividend of €2 per share (previous year: €1.25), which amounts to a 60% rise. This increased the overall amount distributed for the past business year to €457m (2003: €286m).
- The Annual General Meeting authorised the Board of Management, with the approval of the Supervisory Board, to issue convertible bonds and/or bonds with warrants with no definite maturity if and when required, as is now established practice on the capital markets. The previous authorisation was based on maturity periods of up to twenty years. The authorisation scope of €3bn and the required contingent capital of €100m will remain unchanged.
- The new arrangements for remuneration of the Supervisory Board were also adopted. In connection with the corporate governance discussion concerning transparent company management, the demands placed on the activities of Supervisory Board members have increased further. These will be taken into account in the remuneration system applying from the business year 2005 onwards. In addition to an adjustment of the fixed remuneration components, there will be a change in the performance-related component, which from now on will be based on the earnings per share rather than the dividend, as was the case so far.
All voting results are available at www.munichre.com/agm. A new shareholder portal provides shareholders with regularly updated information on the Munich Re Group.
The media telephone conference on the figures as at 31 March 2005 will take place on 9 May 2005 at 9.30 a.m.
signed 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.