Munich Re, the world\'s biggest reinsurer, said Tuesday it expects business and earnings to be stable this year after bottom-line profit increased by more than fourfold in 2012. \"Even though the consolidation of state finances and high unemployment will result in slower economic momentum in many industrialised countries, we remain optimistic for our business,\" said chief executive Nikolaus von Bomhard. \"For 2013, we are aiming for a result of close to 3.0 billion euros ($3.9 billion),\" he said. And assuming exchange rates remain stable, Munich Re \"anticipates that for the financial year 2013 its gross premiums written will range between 50-52 billion euros,\" von Bomhard added. As already reported last month, Munich Re\'s net profit soared to 3.211 billion euros in 2012 from 711 million euros a year earlier. Operating profit also more than quadrupled, hitting 5.35 billion euros compared with 1.18 billion euros in 2011 and gross premium income was up 5.1 percent at 52.0 billion euros. The main factor behind the sharp rise in profit were lower losses from natural catastrophes, which amounted to 1.3 billion euros last year, with Hurricane Sandy being the year\'s biggest loss event costing the group around 800 million euros before tax. The year before, natural catastrophe losses had been as much as 4.5 billion euros in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, earthquakes in New Zealand and floods in Thailand. For 2012, Munich Re is to pay an increased dividend of 7.00 euros per share compared with 6.25 euros per share a year earlier.