Munich Re boosts dividend after surprise 2013 profit rise

HANOVER, Germany Tue Feb 4, 2014 1:47am EST

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HANOVER, Germany Feb 4 (Reuters) - Munich Re raised its dividend to 7.25 euros per share from 7.00 euros after reporting a surprise rise in 2013 net profit that was above the highest forecast in a Reuters poll of banks and brokerages.

The world's biggest reinsurer posted preliminary full year net profit of 3.3 billion euros ($4.5 billion), which was helped by lower than expected damage claims and the release of reserves built up against anticipated claims.

The figure compared with the 3.03 billion euro average of 16 estimates in a Reuters poll, and is up from earnings of 3.2 billion euros in 2012, which also saw below average losses from big damage claims. The highest forecast in the poll was for net profit of 3.23 billion euros in 2013. Poll: ($1 = 0.7397 euros) (Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Thomas Atkins)

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