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Allianz Weathers High Level of Cat Losses, Posts Slightly Lower 1Q Results

Posted on 13 May 2011

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Allianz Group today reported solid results for the first quarter of 2011 amid a challenging environment and severe natural catastrophe events.

Total quarterly revenues of 29.9 billion euros remained strong, amounting to only 2.2 percent below the record level of 30.6 billion euros in the first quarter of 2010.

Operating profit amounted to 1.66 billion euros, compared to 1.73 billion euros in the previous year's first quarter. This represents a decrease of just 4.2 percent, despite one of the highest quarterly natural catastrophe losses in two decades. Last year’s first quarter had already been impacted by a higher-than-usual level of natural catastrophes.

All three business segments contributed to a quarterly net income of 915 million euros, compared to 1.6 billion euros in the first quarter of 2010. In addition to natural catastrophes, a deliberate reduction of capital gains and a higher tax ratio contributed to this development.

Allianz Group's capital position remains strong with a solvency ratio of 180 percent. This is 7 percentage points higher than the year-end 2010 solvency ratio of 173 percent. Shareholders' equity amounted to 43.6 billion euros as of March 31, 2011, or 2.1 percent lower than 44.5 billion euros at the end of 2010.

Despite the difficult operating environment Allianz remains on track to reach its operating profit target for 2011 of 8.0 billion euros, plus or minus 0.5 billion euros.

Property-Casualty segment resilient despite natural catastrophe impact

In the Property and Casualty insurance business, gross written premiums in the first quarter increased by 1.8 percent to 14.3 billion euros, compared to 14.0 billion euros in the first quarter of 2010.?Operating profit amounted to 663 million euros. This is 6.9 percent lower than the 712 million euros in the first quarter of 2010. Expenses from natural catastrophes amounted to 737 million euros for the quarter. Of that figure, 697 million euros were reserved to cover the events in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. In the first quarter of 2010, expenses for natural catastrophes amounted to 555 million euros.

The combined ratio of 101.3 percent compares with 100.4 percent in the first quarter of 2010. Natural catastrophes contributed 7.6 percentage points to the combined ratio after 5.9 percentage points in the first quarter of 2010.

Oliver Bäte, Chief Financial Officer of Allianz SE: "For Allianz, the past quarter took one of the hardest hits from natural catastrophes of any quarter in the last two decades. However, this effect was partly offset by operating improvements in several core markets, positive price effects on renewals and stable investment income."

Life and Health insurance results on track

In Life and Health insurance, statutory premiums amounted to 14.3 billion euros. Compared to the record 15.4 billion euros in the first quarter of 2010, revenues decreased by 7.1 percent, but net inflows still reached 1.7 billion euros. Statutory premiums in the first quarter of last year included positive one-off effects especially in France, Italy and Taiwan.

Operating profit amounted to 702 million euros, compared to 835 million euros in the first quarter of 2010. The 15.9 percent decrease was largely due to a lower investment result compared to the same period of last year.

Oliver Bäte: "We are on track in the Life/Health segment, despite challenges such as tough competition in France, Italy and the Asia-Pacific region and exchange rate effects based on the strong euro. This quarter’s operating profit keeps us at the upper end of our target range for the full year."

Asset Management growth continues

In Asset Management, revenues continued to grow strongly. Net fee and commission income rose by 14.5 percent to 1.26 billion euros, compared to 1.10 billion euros in the same period of last year. Operating profit grew by 13.3 percent to 528 million euros from 466 million euros in the first quarter of 2010.

The cost income ratio of 58.5 percent remained close to 58.2 percent in the same period of last year.

Third-party assets under management grew to 1.138 trillion euros as of March 31, 2011 from 1.023 trillion euros as of March 31, 2010.

Oliver Bäte: "Strong organic growth in Asset Management continues. Third-party net inflows amounted to nearly 14 billion euros. Revenues and operating profit are outstanding. The cost income ratio demonstrates our ability to grow our business profitably."