November 7, 2018 / 7:12 AM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-Munich Re returns to profit in Q3, affirms 2018 guidance

* Swings to net profit of 483 mln euros from 1.44 bln loss

* Guidance confirmed despite natural catastrophes

* Marks recovery from 2017 (Updates with details)

FRANKFURT, Nov 7 (Reuters) - German reinsurer Munich Re returned to profit in the third quarter and affirmed its guidance for 2018, recovering from a spate of natural catastrophes a year ago.

Net profit came to 483 million euros ($553 million), it said on Wednesday, compared with a 1.44 billion euro loss in the year-earlier period and analyst consensus for a 456 million euros profit.

“This good Q3 result puts us on track to achieve our profit target for 2018 – despite a series of major natural catastrophes still continuing in the fourth quarter,” Chief Financial Officer Joerg Schneider said.

Munich Re aims to post a 2018 full-year profit of 2.1 to 2.5 billion euros.

The group’s return to profit came despite a series of natural catastrophes in the third quarter, including Hurricane Florence in the United States and Typhoon Jebi in Japan.

Even considering those storms, Munich Re and the insurance industry are bouncing back from a series of major hurricanes, fires and earthquakes in North America in 2017, the costliest year ever for the industry. Reinsurers have been under pressure in recent years from falling prices amid intense competition.

Munich Re’s combined ratio, a key measure of profitability, was 100.7 percent in the third quarter, better than 160.9 percent a year ago.

Munich Re said it was “right on course” to score a 97 percent ratio for the full year. Readings below 100 indicate profitability. (Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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