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Munich Re warns of 'considerable' earnings hit from virus pandemic

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Munich Re’s property and casualty (P&C) arm has suffered a “considerable claims burden” in the first quarter because of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing the global reinsurer to withdraw its €2.8 billion ($5 billion) profit guidance for this year.

Last year the group reported a net income of €2.7 billion ($4.9 billion).

The claims expenditure in the first quarter is related mainly to the cancellation and postponement of large events, the reinsurer says.

For the first quarter, Munich Re has flagged a drastic drop in profit to the “low three-digit million euro range”. The business made €633 million ($1.14 billion) in the first quarter last year.

The reinsurer will go ahead with its planned dividend of €9.80 ($17.60) per share but will put on hold its share buyback program until further notice.