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Higher claims hit Munich Re's quarterly net profit

The logo of reinsurance company Munich Re Group

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Munich Re <MUVGn.DE> said on Friday its fourth-quarter profit fell nearly 9% amid major losses from natural catastrophes and other claims, but the German reinsurer expressed confidence of meeting its 2020 profit target.

Executives had warned last year that the company was facing big claims for typhoons and fires in the fourth quarter.

Typhoons Hagibis and Faxai, which struck Japan last year and were the worst storms there in decades, caused damages of 1.3 billion euros (£1.1 billion) for the Munich-based company.

Shares were down 7% in early trade in Frankfurt.

Munich Re's combined ratio in its property and casualty division - a key measure of profitability - was 112.5% in the fourth quarter, worse than the 105.1% a year earlier.

Readings below 100% indicate profitability.

Profit in the quarter declined to 217 million euros, down from 238 million euros a year earlier.

The company's full-year net profit of 2.707 billion euros came in lower than analysts' estimate of 2.920 billion euros, while exceeding the company's profit target of 2.5 billion euros.

Munich Re is "confident" of reaching its profit target of 2.8 billion euros for 2020, Chief Executive Officer Joachim Wenning said.


(Reporting by Tom Sims, editing by Riham Alkousaa and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)