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Munich Re says profits up in 2013

Munich Re, the world's leading reinsurer, said on Tuesday that it beat its own full-year forecasts and booked net profit of 3.3 billion euros ($4.5 billion) in 2013.

FRANKFURT: Munich Re, the world's leading reinsurer, said on Tuesday that it beat its own full-year forecasts and booked net profit of 3.3 billion euros ($4.5 billion) in 2013.

"According to provisional calculations, Munich Re improved its consolidated result in 2013 to 3.3 billion euros from 3.2 billion euros the previous year," it said in a statement.

In the fourth quarter alone, net profit more than doubled to 1.2 billion euros from 0.5 billion euros a year earlier.

As a result, Munich Re said it would propose an increased dividend of 7.25 euros per share for 2013, compared with 7.0 euros the previous year.

"The very good result, to which all the business fields contributed, demonstrates Munich Re's earnings strength. We have clearly surpassed our profit guidance of 3.0 billion euros," said chief financial officer Joerg Schneider.

At an underlying level, operating profit fell by 17 percent to 4.4 billion euros, largely as a result of reduced earnings on investments, Munich Re said, but insisted that the level was "still pleasing".

Gross premium income slipped by 1.7 percent to 51.1 billion euros.

Investors cheered the prospect of the increased dividend and Munich Re shares were the second-biggest gainers on the Frankfurt stock exchange, adding 0.98 percent in a slightly softer market.

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