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November 10, 2009

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Allianz turns around in Q3 from loss

GERMAN insurer Allianz SE said yesterday it posted a net profit in the third quarter from a loss a year ago due to improved revenue in life and health insurance and financial services.

Allianz, based in Munich, said net income rose to 1.32 billion euros (US$1.96 billion) from a loss of 2 billion euros in the third quarter a year ago.

Revenue in the July-September period climbed 4.3 percent to more than 22 billion euros from 21.1 billion euros in the third quarter of 2008.

"Our very good third-quarter result shows that Allianz has a sound platform for delivering solid earnings even in the 'new normal' of a challenging market environment with structurally lower returns," Oliver Baete, Allianz' chief financial officer, said in the company's report.

"Allianz is well capitalized and our solvency ratio has a firm base founded on a high quality investment portfolio and conservative risk management approach," Baete said.

The company said developments in the third quarter confirmed the signals of a gradual recovery, but that the global economy would still shrink by 2.3 percent this year - with economies in industrial countries set to contract by 3.3 percent.

Factors like government stimulus packages ending and high public sector deficits could also further negatively affect the economy.

Insurance and reinsurance companies are closely watched for their assessments of markets and the economy because they generally invest large sums of premium capital.

Investors were pleased by the results and the outlook and pushed the shares 4.3 percent higher to 82.61 euros in Frankfurt morning trade.


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