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Allianz bounces back with bumper third-quarter profit

Friday, November 11, 2016 - 16:13

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German insurance heavyweight Allianz on Friday announced a bumper third-quarter profit, turning around a slump prompted by higher payouts for natural disasters earlier in the year.

[FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany] German insurance heavyweight Allianz on Friday announced a bumper third-quarter profit, turning around a slump prompted by higher payouts for natural disasters earlier in the year.

The group said it increased net profit to 1.95 billion euros (S$3 billion) between July and September, an increase of 35 per cent year-on-year.

Its result outdid the expectations of analysts surveyed by Factset, who had forecast a net profit of 1.6 billion.

Allianz is now on course to meet its full-year target of 10.5 billion euros in underlying, or operating profit over the full year after earning just over 8.0 billion in the first nine months, chief financial officer Dieter Wemmer said in a statement.

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"Efforts to develop our business in a very difficult environment are paying off," Mr Wemmer said.

In its statement, Allianz pointed to a "better performance across its business segments" to explain the rise in profits.

The group highlighted its property and casualty insurance division, which increased underlying, or operating profit more than four per cent compared with the third quarter in 2015.

A wave of heavy floods and storms in Europe had knocked more than 15 per cent off the unit's operating profit over the first half of 2016.

Meanwhile, the third quarter also saw Allianz increase overall revenues 0.5 per cent to 27.7 billion euros.

Declining revenues in the group's asset management division were offset by growth in the life and health insurance unit.

"Operating profit and net profit are clearly better than expected" across the whole firm, analyst Thorsten Wenzel of DZ bank wrote.

"The most positive news in our view is that asset management... has stopped net outflows," he continued.

Like other insurance and financial sector firms, Allianz has struggled with historic low interest rates, which make it more difficult to earn high returns.

AFP

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