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Turkey’s earthquakes weigh on reinsurance company Munich RE profits

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German reinsurance giant Munich RE reported a drop in first-quarter profits Wednesday after taking a hit from claims linked to two devastating earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria in February, Agence France-Presse reported.

The group, which covers insurance firms against their risks, said net profit fell by 14 percent year-on-year to 1.27 billion euros ($1.4 billion).

Claims for major losses from natural catastrophes were “higher than expected” over the quarter, Munich RE’s chief financial officer Christoph Jurecka said, totaling 870 million euros.

The powerful earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria in February and killed more than 50,000 people “was one of the most catastrophic we have seen in recent history,” Jurecka said, costing Munich RE 600 million euros alone.

Revenue from insurance contracts climbed more than 7 percent to 14.2 billion euros year-on-year, boosted by higher prices and new business in Asia and Latin America.

The group said it was confident it would still meet its target of posting a full-year net profit of 4 billion euros in 2023.

It warned, however, that its forecast faced “considerable uncertainty” because of the war in Ukraine, market volatility and “fragile macroeconomic developments.”

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