Meanwhile Brit blames accounting rules for £8.7m loss

The German giant Munich Re posted a second-quarter profit of €703m (£598m), up 11.9% on the same period last year, but still suffered a drop in half-year profits to €1,123m from €1,405m in 2008.

Chief executive Nicholas von Bomhard said the economic crisis had had a limited impact on the company.

“We were able to benefit further from our capital strength and exploit our scope for profitable growth,” he said. “We regard the effects of the economic crisis as limited in extent for the Munich Re group.”

Elsewhere, Brit chief executive Dane Douetil said that accounting rules had distorted the insurer’s results, showing a £8.7m loss instead of the underlying profit before tax of £64.9m.

Douetil said the International Financial Reporting Standards Rules, which centred on the way non-monetary items were accounted for and in what currency, would hit other insurers too because of currency fluctuations.

“We warned several years ago that these accounting rules would affect insurers in this way, but they did not have an impact until this year, because of the changes in currency values,” he said.

At the start of last week, Aon reported that its second-quarter profit fell 87% to $149m (£89m) from $1.1bn profit in the same period last year.

The Chicago-based broker said that job cuts and the Benfield purchase cost about $95m in expenses.

Meanwhile, Willis announced that its profits more than doubled in its second quarter to $87m as commission and fees grew.