Allianz confident for 2019 after ‘solid’ quarter

by AFP/ pic by BLOOMBERG

GERMANY – German insurer Allianz on Friday said it was confident of hitting the upper range of its 2019 targets after booking a better-than-expected net profit in the third quarter.

From July to September, net profit at the group edged up 0.6 percent to 1.95 billion euros ($2.2 billion) year-on-year, as it benefitted from a lower tax rate and investment returns.

Analysts surveyed by Factset had been expecting the figure to come in slightly below last year’s.

Operating, or underlying, profit was roughly stable at 2.98 billion euros while revenues climbed eight percent 33.4 billion euros, driven by its life insurance business in Germany, Italy and the United States.

Allianz’ flagship property and casualty insurance unit saw sales grow, but operating profits fell back because of lower fees and investment earnings.

“Allianz has once again delivered very solid results in challenging times,” said chief executive Oliver Baete in a statement.

The Munich-based group said it now expects to reach the higher end of its 2019 operating profit target, which it initially set at between 11 and 12 billion euros — plus or minus 500 million depending on events like natural disasters.

The group’s so-called “combined ratio” – a closely-watched measure of profitability that compares premiums paid in to reimbursements paid out – rose 1.2 percent to 94.3 percent, sticking close to the full-year goal of 94 percent.