Allianz Profit Rises 24% as Higher Prices Drive Revenue

Allianz SE, Europe’s largest insurer, said first-quarter profit rose 24 percent as higher prices pushed revenue to a record.

Net income increased to 1.71 billion euros ($2.21 billion) from 1.38 billion euros a year earlier, the Munich-based company said in a statement today. Revenue rose 6.6 percent to 32 billion euros.

Allianz, which published preliminary figures last week, said all three of its businesses reported improved results while the industry had no major claims from natural disasters. The insurer faces risks such as low interest rates and uncertain economic growth, Chief Executive Officer Michael Diekmann told shareholders at their annual meeting on May 7.

“This is a very encouraging start to the year,” Dieter Wemmer, the company’s chief financial officer, said in today’s statement. “All segments are performing strongly thanks to our efforts in the previous years.”

Allianz rose 0.5 percent to 118.30 euros by 10:28 a.m. in Frankfurt trading, bringing the gain this year to 13 percent.

The insurer 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.

Allianz’s property and casualty insurance unit, typically the most important in terms of earnings, reported a 22 percent increase in net profit to 1.02 billion euros in the quarter while premium income rose 2.7 percent to 15.2 billion euros.

Combined Ratio

The unit’s spending on claims and other costs as a percentage of premiums, also known as the combined ratio, improved to 94.3 percent from 96.2 percent a year earlier. A ratio above 100 percent means an insurer’s claims and costs exceed premium income, giving it a loss from underwriting.

Net profit at the life- and health-insurance division gained 0.5 percent to 628 million euros, Allianz said. Statutory premiums advanced 8.3 percent to 14.8 billion euros.

The firm’s asset-management unit, which includes Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Investment Management Co., saw net profit jump 50 percent to 568 million euros in the quarter. Total assets under management rose 17 percent to 1.93 trillion euros, while third-party managed assets increased about 20 percent to 1.52 trillion euros from a year earlier.

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