The economic environment continues to be defined by a number of significant uncertainties. Overcoming the government debt crisis in the eurozone and in the USA is viewed as the foremost challenge, as well as the further development of the so-called PIIGS nations. But the question of whether economic growth is sustainable for the future is also viewed as a critical success factor.

Under the prerequisite of anticipated normalisation of international profits and stable domestic profit development, we are assuming that 2011 will deliver further improvement in our operating profits. Underlying assumptions include significant reductions compared to 2010 in claims due to natural disasters, stable capital markets, and a positive economic environment.