Allianz income doubles in Q4
Income increased as profits from property and casualty insurance rose.
Allianz, Europe's biggest insurer, said fourth-quarter net income more than doubled after profit from property and casualty insurance unexpectedly rose.
Net income advanced to €1.22 billion from €492 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, the Munich-based company said in an e-mailed statement today.
Allianz chief financial officer Dieter Wemmer said "I am encouraged by our healthy growth in premiums, especially by recoveries in key European markets, this development shows that we are an attractive risk partner."
European insurers such as Allianz, Axa and Prudential benefited from higher prices for some of their products last year after earnings in 2011 were hurt by record losses from natural catastrophes.
A recovery in financial markets also helped bring an increase in investment income, outweighing the impact of lower interest rates.
Operating profit in property and casualty insurance rose to €1.26 billion in the fourth quarter from €1.09 billion a year earlier.
Gross written premiums increased 4.7 per cent in 2012 as a whole. The company will propose paying a dividend of €4.50 a share from last year's profit, Diekmann said.
Operating profit was €9.5 billion last year, which matched a target for more than €9 billion.
Allianz fell 0.6 per cent to €103.70 in early trade in Frankfurt. Shares have lost 1.1 per cent this year, after climbing 37 per cent in 2012.