* Cyclone Debbie in Australia puts a drag on profit
* Q1 net profit down 2 pct at 264.8 mln eur
* Hannover Re expects profit to exceed 1 bln euros this year (Adds details from earnings statement)
HANOVER, Germany, May 10 (Reuters) - German reinsurer Hannover Re reported a small drop in first-quarter net income on Wednesday, in line with expectations, and said it was on track to meet its full-year profit target.
Cyclone Debbie, which caused major storm damage and flooding in Australia, dragged on profit as Hannover Re’s largest single loss of 50 million euros ($54.5 million).
Hannover Re also took a hit from a change in a UK government policy resulting in higher payouts for severe personal injuries in car accidents.
Altogether, Hannover Re faced major losses totalling 133.7 million euros, up sharply from 55.5 million euros a year ago. Group net income was down 2 percent in the first three months of the year to 264.8 million euros.
The company reiterated its goal of generating profit of more than 1 billion euros this year, even as the industry faces dropping reinsurance prices and low interest rates.
“With our pleasing quarterly result we have put in place a good basis for achieving our targets,” Chief Executive Ulrich Wallin said in a press release.
$1 = 0.9179 euros Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Maria Sheahan