Shareholders' dividend expected to rise by 4.5%

Munich Re increased its consolidated profit to €2.56bn (£2.24bn) in 2009 from €1.58bn in 2008.

The profit for the fourth quarter totalled €0.78bn. Subject to approval by the supervisory board and the annual general meeting, the shareholders’ dividend will rise by 4.5% to €5.75 per share.

Chief financial officer Jörg Schneider said: “This is another good result that demonstrates Munich Re’s earnings strength … Despite the challenges posed by the market environment in 2009, we were even able to slightly exceed our ambitious return target of 15% on risk-adjusted capital after tax.”

Gross premiums written by the group in the financial year 2009 rose by just under 10% to €41.4bn. The combined ratio in reinsurance was 95.3% (99.4%) for January to December, and 92.5% (97.6%) for the fourth quarter. This includes 3.6 percentage points – or €0.5bn – for recession-related major losses, just under €0.2bn of which was incurred in the fourth quarter.

In primary insurance, the 2009 combined ratio for the property-casualty segment (including legal expenses insurance) amounted to 93.1%. Its level in the fourth quarter was particularly good at 90.0%.