Posted on 05 May 2010
Europe's biggest insurer, Allianz SE, reiterated its full-year forecast after operating profit rose 20 percent in the first quarter, helped by higher earnings at its life and health insurance and asset-management units.
Operating profit climbed to about 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) from 1.42 billion euros a year earlier, the Munich- based company said in an e-mailed statement today, citing preliminary figures. Earnings beat the median estimate of 1.55 billion euros by 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Chief Executive Officer Michael Diekmann, 55, told shareholders at the annual meeting in Munich today that natural catastrophes led to charges of more than 500 million euros in the first quarter, double a "normal quarter’s" burden. Diekmann reiterated a target for 2010 operating profit of 7.2 billion euros, plus or minus 500 million euros, saying the insurer is “on its way” to achieve the forecast.
“It looks like the asset management unit was the quarter’s main profit driver,” said Robert Mazzuoli, an analyst at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg who rates the shares “hold.” “The importance of the property and casualty unit as Allianz’s most important profit generator is shrinking, and it will be hard for them to reach their full-year combined ratio target.”