Hannover Re saw its property and casualty (P&C) gross premiums written (GPW) rise 19.2% year on year to €6.47bn for the first six months of 2018, mainly due to higher average reinsurance rates. As the German reinsurer explained, the growth in P&C GPW can be attributed to the continued rise in demand for structured reinsurance solutions in Europe and North America as well as an increase in traditional reinsurance rates. Meanwhile US catastrophe business saw an abundant supply of additional capacity from alternative capital markets, which prevented a strong change in the prices of traditional reinsurance in the wake of last year's catastrophe activity. "Once again, both business groups, namely property and casualty as well as life and health reinsurance, plus a stable investment income shaped the positive result,” said chief executive officer Ulrich Wallin. Net premiums earned increased by 20% compared with the first half of 2017 to €5.17bn. The net underwriting result for P&C reinsurance increased by 37.4% year on year to €204.7mn, with expenditure on large losses being 'very moderate', Hannover Re noted. Major losses in the first half-year occurred due to events including winter storm Friederike and an earthquake in Papua New Guinea. The first half 2018 P&C reinsurance combined ratio stood at 95.7%, down 80 basis points on the prior year period. Company forecasts for 2018 remain positive with an expected double-digit increase of 10% in gross premium for 2018 and €1bn of net income expected for the current year. “This target will be more difficult to achieve if a very high strain were to be incurred from treaty recaptures in US mortality business,” said the reinsurer. First quarter results saw the company achieve rate hikes in several jurisdictions following last year’s disasters. Last year’s hurricane events created the drive for more stability in property and casualty reinsurance, with Hannover Re benefiting from its “selective and margin-oriented business policy".