Allianz First-Quarter Profit Gains 24% to 1.7 Billion EurosAnnette Weisbach
Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer, said first-quarter profit climbed 24 percent after all of its businesses reported improved results and the industry had no major claims from natural disasters.
Net income increased to “around” 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) from 1.37 billion euros a year earlier, the Munich-based insurer said in a statement on its website. Operating profit rose to 2.8 billion euros from 2.33 billion euros, beating the 2.4 billion-euro average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Allianz sees no need to adjust its full-year outlook in light of market risks such as low interest rates and an uncertain economic growth, said Chief Executive Officer Michael Diekmann. The company said it’s on course to meet a 2013 goal for operating profit of 8.7 billion euros to 9.7 billion euros compared with the 9.5 billion euros reported last year.
“We are well on our way toward achieving our operating profit outlook for the entire year,” which will include restructuring charges, Diekmann said in the statement. “The improvements in our results come from all business segments.”
Allianz advanced 2.3 percent to 119.20 euros at 11:26 a.m. in Frankfurt trading, bringing the gain this year to 14 percent and valuing the company at 54.3 billion euros.
The “results should highlight continued earnings resilience,” Blair Stewart, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch who recommends buying the shares, said in a note today. “The non-life result will benefit from low” natural catastrophes and fewer one-time costs, he said.
The company is proposing a dividend of 4.50 euros a share from last year’s profit, which almost doubled to 5.49 billion euros. About 3,400 investors have gathered at the Olympia Hall in Munich today for Allianz’s annual shareholder meeting.
Allianz’s U.S. unit, Fireman’s Fund, which had an operating loss of 550 million euros last year, will see “a marked improvement in earnings” this year with a return to an “appropriate level” in 2015 at the latest.
Allianz will release detailed first-quarter results on May 15.