Germany's Allianz SE, Europe's biggest insurer by market capitalization, Friday said net profit rose almost sevenfold in the third quarter, in the absence of hits on financial-sector investments and Greek sovereign debt, and amid a dearth of natural disasters, which undermined last year's results.
An excellent contribution from the asset management business and the insurance operations, and a lower tax rate also contributed to the higher earnings.
Allianz already early last week released a small set of third-quarter figures, as it raised its operating profit guidance for the full year due to a strong third quarter.
Allianz, which has insurance, asset management and a small banking operation, now expects a 2012 operating profit above 9 billion euros ($11.5 billion), compared with its previous target range of EUR7.7 billion to EUR8.7 billion. In 2011, the company booked operating profit of around EUR7.9 billion. After the first nine months, operating profit was EUR7.23 billion.
Allianz cautioned Friday that the raised guidance is based on its own preliminary estimates for Hurricane Sandy's impact as of Nov. 8, but that those estimates could still be subject to substantial upward revision. It also said that it currently can't give a reliable estimate for its own loss. The overall market loss that insurers will need to shoulder is currently estimated in a $7 billion to $20 billion range by risk-modeling agencies.
Quarterly net profit attributable to shareholders rose to EUR1.34 billion from EUR196 million in the same quarter a year ago.
Operating profit was EUR2.53 billion, up 33% from EUR1.91 billion in the same period a year ago.
Last week, Allianz cautioned that full-year net income growth "will be comparatively lower because of further balance sheet strengthening including investment de-risking and restructuring activities, as already seen in the first nine months of 2012."