Hannover Re, the world’s third-largest reinsurer, said second-quarter profit rose 19 percent, as lower catastrophe claims helped a surge in earnings from property and casualty.

Net income increased to 252.2 million euros ($274 million) from 211.5 million euros a year earlier, the company said Wednesday. That compares with a 264.1 million-euro average estimate of 9 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Wallin, 60, raised his target for full-year profit to about 950 million euros from 875 million euros.

“The sustained strong profitability of property and casualty reinsurance shows that with our systematically pursued policy of selective underwriting we are well placed to tackle the conditions associated with challenging market phases,” Wallin said in the statement.

Net income at the property and casualty division increased 65 percent compared with a year earlier to 247 million euros. Total net investment income climbed 11 percent to 383.1 million euros. Gross written premiums rose 22 percent to 4.2 billion euros.

Reinsurers, who are facing increasing competition from hedge funds for business, help primary insurers shoulder risks for events such as natural disasters, which have declined in the first half.

The shares have risen 34 percent this year, closing at 100.45 euros Tuesday and valuing the company at 12.1 billion euros. That compared with an advance of 14 percent for the 35- member Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index.