* Cycle Debbie in Australia costs Talanx 50 million euros
* Quarterly profit rise beats expectations for little change
* Retail international business drives growth (Adds CEO quote, details)
FRANKFURT, May 15 (Reuters) - German insurer Talanx posted first-quarter net profit that was above expectations and confirmed it was on track to meet its earnings target for the full year.
“We have begun the year 2017 well, with all of our divisions putting in a positive performance,” Chief Executive Herbert Haas said in a statement.
The company’s retail international division helped drive growth, with a premium gain of 29.2 percent in the quarter, Talanx said. Cyclone Debbie, which hit Australia in March, cost Talanx about 50 million euros ($54.7 million).
Talanx expects 2017 profit to come to around 800 million euros, a decline from 2016, as it and the industry as a whole face fierce competition and low interest rates.
In the first quarter, group net profit rose 7.2 percent to 238 million euros, beating analyst consensus for 220 million in a Reuters poll.
$1 = 0.9150 euros Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Maria Sheahan