Warning of zero profit this year and bankruptcies to continue

Euler Hermes chief executive Wilfried Verstraete told newspaper Les Echos the French credit insurer owned by Allianz will see increased profit in 2010, Reuters reports.

Bloomberg said Euler Hermes expects the number of corporate bankruptcies in 2010 to be similar to this year. Interest in competitor Coface “isn’t a priority,” Verstraete said.

Profit in 2009 at the world’s largest trade-credit insurer will be nearly zero while sales will drop by 4% or 5%, the newspaper reported.

99% fall in profits

Reuters said last month, Euler Hermes posted a third-quarter net profit of €0.2m, down 99% from a year earlier.

Euler Hermes shares closed at €52.98 on Monday, giving the company a market capitalisation of around €2.4bn. The stock has risen around 50% so far this year, after falling roughly 60% last year.