Earnings per share to grow by more than 10% on average from 2007 to 2010 / Share buy-back of up to €2bn resolved / More share buy-backs with a volume of over €3bn planned up to 2010 / Successful first quarter in reinsurance and primary insurance: despite Kyrill, quarterly profit of €982m at last year's high level / Profit target for 2007 at €3.0–3.2bn, given normal claims experience and stable capital markets until the end of the year.
With its Changing Gear programme, the Munich Re Group intends to
achieve further improvements in its key figures. From 2007 up to
and including 2010, it plans to increase earnings per share
annually by an average of more than 10%.
The main components of this programme, besides process optimisations, are detailed plans and initiatives for profitable growth and, above all, active capital management. Share buy-backs are an important part of this active capital management and hence of Changing Gear.
Munich Re resolves share buy-back of up to €2bn
Today, the Board of Management of Munich Re therefore decided that up to 22 million Munich Re shares will be acquired in the period between 4 May 2007 and, at the latest, the Annual General Meeting on 17 April 2008. The share buy-back will be restricted to a total purchase price (excluding incidental expenses) of €2bn; on the basis of the current share price level, this would represent around 15 million shares or 6.75% of the Company's share capital. Shares up to a maximum of 2% of the share capital may be acquired using derivatives.
The Board of Management is thus availing itself of the authorisation to buy back shares granted by the Annual General Meeting on 26 April 2007. The purpose of the share buy-back is to retire the repurchased shares in order to optimise the Company's capital structure.
The buy-back will be carried out in accordance with Section 14 para. 2 and Section 20a para. 3 of the German Securities Trading Act in conjunction with the rules of Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2273/2003 of 22 December 2003 implementing Directive 2003/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards exemptions for buy-back programmes and stabilisation of financial instruments.
Beyond the measure resolved here, the Board of Management plans more share buy-backs totalling over €3bn up to 2010.
Summary of the Munich Re Group’s figures for the first quarter
In the first three months, the Munich Re Group recorded a profit of €982m (979m). Gross premiums written amounted to €10.0bn, maintaining last year's level. Winter Storm Kyrill cost the Group €450m before tax, approximately €390m in reinsurance and around €60m in primary insurance. Large gains on real-estate sales initiated last year and on the disposal of equities compensated for the burden from the windstorm losses caused by Kyrill in reinsurance. The investment result consequently grew by 48.5% to €3.2bn. The operating result decreased by 10.2% to €1,321m (1,471m). Shareholders' equity has risen by 0.1% to €26.5bn since the beginning of the year (31.12.2006: €26.4bn), the good development of results contrasting with a reduction in valuation reserves.
European Embedded Value 2006
Together with its quarterly figures, the Munich Re Group has published European Embedded Value (EEV) figures for its life and health primary insurance business and its life reinsurance business in the financial year 2006.
The marked increase in the Munich Re Group's European Embedded Value to €10.1bn (EEV at 31.12.2005: €8.8bn) is largely due to the high value of new business and a good result from in-force business totalling €2.0bn.
Prospects for 2007
In 2007, the Munich Re Group is looking to record another combined ratio of below 97% in reinsurance. Owing to the claims expenditure for Kyrill, Munich Re anticipates a natural-hazards claims burden of 7% of net earned premiums for the year. In primary insurance, the combined-ratio target is under 95% again.
Given the strong euro, Munich Re envisages Group premium income for 2007 of between €36.5bn and €37.5bn, with reinsurance providing approximately €21–21.5bn (before consolidation) and primary insurance around €17–17.5bn.
The Munich Re Group aims to achieve a return of at least 15% on risk-adjusted capital (RORAC) again in 2007. In the light of the first quarter, Chairman of the Board of Management von Bomhard expects a profit of €3.0–3.2bn for the financial year 2007.
For further details, please refer to the press release.
Munich, 4 May 2007
Aktiengesellschaft in München
This announcement 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.