Quarterly Statement: Munich Re likely to surpass 2019 profit target
- Q3 profit of €865m
- High quarterly profit thanks to good operating result, high currency gains and strong investment result
- Major losses from Hurricane Dorian and Typhoon Faxai offset
- Profit guidance raised for year overall: >€2.5bn, increase in anticipated premium income: >€49bn
We are very pleased to have achieved extremely good results for two quarters in a row now, despite costly hurricanes and typhoons. We now expect to surpass our initial profit and revenue targets overall for 2019.
Summary of Q3 figures
The return on equity (RoE) was 11.3% in Q3 and 11.4% in Q1–3.
The solvency ratio was approx. 230% at the end of Q3 (245% as at 31 December 2018).
In Q1–3, Munich Re bought back a total of 3.4 million of its own shares under its share buy-back programme, a volume corresponding to €0.7bn.
Reinsurance: Result of €746m
Life and health reinsurance business posted a pleasing profit of €282m (159m). Premium income rose to €2,989m (2,805m). The technical result, including business with non-significant risk transfer, was €218m (88m) in Q3, and totalled €387m (419m) for the first nine months of 2019. This exceptionally good quarterly result was due to contract restructuring and favourable claims experience overall. Despite the good result in Q3, there remains a risk – announced already at the end of the first half-year – that Munich Re will not reach its annual target of around €500m.
Property-casualty reinsurance contributed €464m (151m) to the consolidated result in Q3. Premium volume rose to €6,593m (5,761m). The combined ratio was 104.7% (100.7%) of net earned premium due to high major losses. The figure for Q1–3 was 97.0% (97.3%), keeping the company well on track to meet its target of 98% for the full year.
Major losses of over €10m each totalled €981m (599m) in Q3 and €1,662m (1,267m) for Q1–3. These figures include run-off profits and losses for major claims from previous years. Major-loss expenditure corresponded to 18.4% (12.5%) of net earned premium for Q3, which was significantly higher than the projected long-term average of 12%. In Q1–3, major-loss expenditure constituted 10.9% (9.3%) of net earned premium. Man-made major losses in Q3 amounted to a relatively high €404m (94m), mostly due to aviation and space as well as fire losses. Large natural catastrophes cost a total of €577m (505m), with Hurricane Dorian (~€360m) and Typhoon Faxai (~€380m) being major contributors. Typhoon Hagibis is expected to prove even more costly; its losses will be reported in Q4.
In Q3, loss reserves of around €220m were released for basic claims from prior years, which corresponds to 4.0 % of net earned premiums. In Q1–3, reserves of around €780m were released, which constitutes 5.1 % of net earned premiums. Munich Re still aims to set aside reserves for newly emerging claims at the top end of the range of reasonable estimates, so that profits from the release of a portion of these reserves are possible at a later stage.
ERGO: Result of €119m
The ERGO Property-casualty Germany segment generated a profit of €36m (–18m) in Q3, driven by a good technical result. ERGO International posted a pleasing result of €76m (15m). This was mainly due to a very good operating result; last year’s figure was adversely affected in part by losses from the sale of companies outside Germany. ERGO Life and Health Germany contributed a result of €8m (176m) – last year’s figure had benefited from positive one-off effects. The same applies to ERGO’s operating result of €291m (451m). Adjusted for the previous year’s effects, ERGO therefore showed an overall improvement.
The combined ratios are all very good: in Property/casualty Germany, the figure improved to 92.1% (94.7%) for Q3 and 92.0% (95.3%) for Q1–3. ERGO International posted a combined ratio of 91.8% (93.3%) for Q3 and 94.1% (94.7%) for Q1–3.
Overall premium income across all lines totalled €4,344m (4,427m) in Q3 2019; gross premiums written amounted to €4,161m (4,224m). The slight year-on-year decrease was mainly due to the sale of companies outside Germany; after adjusting for this effect, premium income remained stable.
Investments: Investment result of €2,131m
Overall, the Q3 investment result represents a return of 3.4% based on the average market value of the portfolio, and it amounted to 3.2% across Q1–3. The running yield was 2.7% and the reinvestment yield 2.1% in Q3. Munich Re expects to earn around 3% overall on its investments in 2019. The equity-backing ratio, including equity derivatives, increased to 6.1% as at 30 September 2019 (5.2% as at 31 December 2018).
Total investments (excluding insurance-related investments) as at 30 September 2019 increased compared with the 2018 year-end figure, with the carrying amount rising to €232,933m (€216,852m) and the market to value €253,521m (€231,876m).
The Group's asset manager is MEAG. In addition to the Group’s investments, MEAG managed a portfolio volume of €17.1bn (15.5bn) for third parties as at 30 September 2019.
Outlook: Profit and premium targets raised
Munich Re is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, primary insurance and insurance-related risk solutions. The group consists of the reinsurance and ERGO business segments, as well as the capital investment company MEAG. Munich Re is globally active and operates in all lines of the insurance business. Since it was founded in 1880, Munich Re has been known for its unrivalled risk-related expertise and its sound financial position. It offers customers financial protection when faced with exceptional levels of damage – from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake to the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season and the California wildfires in 2018. Munich Re possesses outstanding innovative strength, which enables it to also provide coverage for extraordinary risks such as rocket launches, renewable energies, cyberattacks, or pandemics. The company is playing a key role in driving forward the digital transformation of the insurance industry, and in doing so has further expanded its ability to assess risks and the range of services that it offers. Its tailor-made solutions and close proximity to its customers make Munich Re one of the world’s most sought-after risk partners for businesses, institutions, and private individuals.
This press release 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 Munich Re. The Company assumes no liability to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.