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Germany's Munich Re issues profit warning on Japan quake

by Staff Writers
Frankfurt (AFP) April 20, 2011
Munich Re, the world's top re-insurance company, warned Wednesday it would post a loss for the first quarter because of Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami in March.

Munich Re said natural catastrophes, mainly the devastating Japanese quake, will cost it 2.7 billion euros ($3.91 billion) in the first quarter, up on its previous estimate of 2.5 billion euros.

"Because of the damage caused by these natural disasters, first quarter results will clearly be negative," company head Nikolaus von Bomhard said in a statement.

Last month, the company had warned that the deadly Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand on February 22 would cost it about $1.0 billion.

Munich Re stuck to its 2011 net profit target of around 2.4 billion euros at that time but warned that "it will only be able to achieve this target if random major losses remain below the average level to be expected in the further course of the year."

The company will announce its first quarter results on May 9.

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