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Insurer Allianz says 1st-quarter profit rises 78 percent to euro3.2 billion

Insurer Allianz says 1st-quarter profit rises 78 percent to euro3.2 billion

Insurer Allianz SE said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit rose 78 percent on sales of stakes in BMW AG and retailer KarstadtQuelle AG, which helped offset claims from a storm that walloped parts of Europe in January.
The Munich-based insurer, Europe's biggest in terms of gross premiums, said preliminary first-quarter profit rose to euro3.2 billion (US$4.35 billion) from euro1.8 billion a year earlier, beating the euro2.39 billion (US$3.25 billion) analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted.
The results were also helped by gains in investments.
"Overall, we got off to a good start in 2007," Chief Executive Michael Diekmann told shareholders at the company's annual meeting. He reconfirmed Allianz's earnings goals through 2009 with the aim of reaching an operating profit of more than euro13 billion (US$17.69 billion) in 2009.
Revenue, however, dipped 1 percent to euro29.3 billion (US$39.86 billion), less than the euro29.45 billion (US$40.07 billion) analysts had predicted, bruised in part by the rising strength of the euro against the dollar.
Sales were also hampered by lower revenue in the company's life and health insurance operations, mostly in Italy and the United States, but was offset by improved figures in its banking, asset management and non-life insurance segments.
Allianz's U.S. units include Bill Gross's Pimco, one of the world's largest bond managers; Fireman's Fund; Oppenheimer Capital; and fund managers Nicholas-Applegate and RCM Capital.
"It's a good day for Allianz, who reported a solid increase in year-on-year profits despite paying out euro340 million in claims for Europe's savage winter storm," said Catherine Stagg-Macey, a senior analyst at consulting group Celent. "Mother Nature managed to knock the revenue figures but good wholesale deals and a bullish investment market resulted in an impressive first quarter profit. All that said, the payoff from the ongoing restructuring of Allianz has yet to be reflected in the bottom line."
Diekmann said the company was set to reverse the slide in life and health insurance, but warned it would continue through the second half of 2007.
The company released preliminary figures ahead of its annual shareholder meeting. A complete report is due May 8.
The company's operating profit gained 7 percent to euro2.9 billion (US$3.95 billion), beating estimates of euro2.66 billion (US$3.62 billion). That figure included the euro340 million (US$462.6 million) in claims that were the result of the storm, dubbed Kyrill, that savaged Germany, Switzerland and other parts of Europe.
Shares of Allianz rose nearly a quarter of a percent to euro167.10 (US$227.06) in Frankfurt.
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On the Net:
http://www.allianz.com


Updated : 2021-04-18 16:18 GMT+08:00