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Business development

We are satisfied with the development of the first quarter of 2013. Our business groups, namely non-life and life and health reinsurance, delivered a very healthy performance and thereby put in place a good platform for accomplishment of our fullyear targets. Major loss expenditure – as in the previous year – stayed below the anticipated level.

Gross written premium in total business increased by 7.0% as at 31 March 2013 to reach EUR 3.8 billion (EUR 3.5 billion). At constant exchange rates growth would have amounted to 7.4%. The level of retained premium retreated slightly compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year to stand at 89.9% (91.0%). Net premium climbed 9.4% to EUR 3.1 billion (EUR 2.8 billion). Growth of 9.8% would have been booked for net premium at constant exchange rates.

The development of our investments was also satisfactory. The portfolio of assets under own management grew to EUR 32.5 billion (31 December 2012: EUR 31.9 billion). Despite the sustained low interest rate level, ordinary investment income excluding interest on deposits was only slightly lower than in the comparable period at EUR 246.1 million (EUR 258.2 million); the resulting annualised return stood at 3.1%; including extraordinary income the figure rises to 3.2%. Interest on deposits was slightly above the level of the comparable period at EUR 93.8 million (EUR 83.7 million).

Our income from investments under own management consequently fell short of the corresponding period of the previous year: it amounted to EUR 260.9 million (EUR 356.9 million) as at 31 March 2013. The decline can be attributed principally to the exceptionally high unrealised gains recorded in the previous year from the derivative recognised for securities deposits held for our account by US clients as well as from our inflation swaps. The write-downs taken in the period under review were again only very minimal in volume.

With unrealised gains reverting to a normal level, the operating profit (EBIT) decreased to EUR 352.5 million (EUR 393.2 million) as at 31 March 2013. Group net income was thoroughly pleasing at EUR 221.4 million. The figure for the comparable quarter was EUR 261.3 million; earnings per share came in at EUR 1.84 (EUR 2.17).

Hannover Re’s equity base showed a very pleasing increase to EUR 6.3 billion as at 31 March 2013 (31 December 2012: EUR 6.0 billion). The book value per share amounted to EUR 52.18 (31 December 2012: EUR 50.02). The annualised return on equity reached 14.4% (20.3%).

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