UPDATE 1-Insurer Talanx expects profit fall this year

Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:22am EDT

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* Confirms 2014 net profit goal of at least 700 mln euros

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* Talanx share up 1.6 pct vs flat mid-cap index (Adds detail on 2013 results, outlook, shares)

FRANKFURT, March 24 (Reuters) - Talanx said on Monday it expected net profit to drop this year after low taxes and proceeds from a share sale helped its earnings to beat analysts' forecasts in 2013.

Germany's third-biggest insurer reported 2013 net profit of 762 million euros ($1.05 billion) for 2013, above the highest forecast of 732 million euros in a Reuters poll and up one-fifth on 2012.

But profits were boosted by a low tax rate and proceeds from the sale of a stake in Swiss Life in the first half of last year, something Talanx said would not be repeated this year.

The insurer expects net profit of at least 700 million euros in 2014 but that target takes account of a higher notional budget for major damage claims like storms and floods.

The budget, based on Talanx's expectations for claims, was raised to 185 million euros in its insurance operations and 670 million in reinsurance, from a previous 80 million and 625 million respectively.

Large loss claims rose by 40 percent to 838 million euros last year, driven by big payouts for storms and floods in central Europe.

"Despite the exceptional losses caused by flooding, windstorms and hail events as well as the protracted period of low interest rates, we have generated the highest group net income to date and boosted our operating profit," Talanx Chief Executive Herbert Haas said in a statement.

Talanx said it would pay shareholders a dividend of 1.20 euros per share for 2013, compared with an average expectation of 1.18 euros in a Reuters poll and 1.05 euros per share a year earlier.

Talanx's shares rose 1.6 percent to 25.40 euros by 0809 GMT, the biggest gainer in the index of German mid-cap stocks , which was flat. ($1 = 0.7256 Euros) (Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Jane Merriman)

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