Munich Re has said it expects to post profits of around EUR800mn in the first quarter as the company’s performance benefitted from a low level of heavy loss activity.

The impressive figure was attributed to the “randomly low incidence” of major losses and would mark a substantial improvement on the firm’s cat-scarred Q4 performance when its P&C division alone reported a loss of EUR476mn.

In the first quarter of 2017 Munich Re reported a headline profit of EUR557mn. The German carrier maintained its profit guidance for the full year 2018 at between EUR2.1bn to EUR2.5bn. 

Joachim Wenning Munich Re

The company’s share were trending up 1.76 percent at about EUR198.95 in early trading in Frankfurt this morning on the back of the news. 

Munich Re revealed it plans to repurchase up to EUR1bn of its own shares this year despite taking a hit from the catastrophes of last autumn, with CEO Joachim Wenning (pic) hinting that the reinsurer could pursue M&A activity to achieve its 2018 growth ambitions.

“We have the financial strength to expand through acquisitions, but especially through organic growth,” he said in the company’s 2017 annual report.

The executive also told Reuters this week that the firm would welcome a cornerstone investor akin to Softbank’s mooted substantial stake in Swiss Re, but emphasised it was not on the hunt for a specific deal.