Munich Re has posted a consolidated loss of EUR948m, or 5.28 earning per share, for the first quarter of 2011, compared to a profit of EUR485m, or 2.54 earnings per share, in the same quarter last year, owing to high costs for natural catastrophes.

Gross premiums written were EUR13.0bn in the first quarter of 2011, compared to EUR11.7bn, in the same period last year.

Revenue was EUR12.98bn in the first quarter of 2011, compared to EUR11.7bn in the corresponding quarter of the 2010.

In the first quarter of 2011, reported a net operating loss of EUR1.38bn, compared to an operating profit of EUR770m in the year ago.

The group had to cope with losses in reinsurance of EUR2.7bn from natural catastrophes.

Despite this quarterly loss, Munich Re expects to record a profit for the current financial year.

Munich Re CFO Jorg Schneider said that the earthquake in Japan and the natural catastrophes in Australia and New Zealand have made this the most difficult start to a financial year the company has experienced for a long time.

"Such major losses – even several within a few weeks – are possible in our reinsurance business. Thanks to our solid capitalization, we are able to absorb them. Despite these devastating natural catastrophes, we can still achieve a profit for the year as a whole," Schneider said.