Operating profit jumps 20% at Allianz in Q3

Published in: Risk, Cat risk, Corporate strategy, Financial results, Asset management, Rest of Europe

Companies: Allianz

Reduced third-quarter claims from natural catastrophes spurred 20.6% year-on-year growth in operating profit for the third quarter at Allianz.

Germany's largest underwriter attributed the rise to a decreased expense ratio and writing more premiums.

The group confirmed its profit outlook for the full year of about €11.1bn ($12.6bn), having made 79% of the ground, or €8.7bn, by the end of September. This was 4.8% more than it had made a year ago.

Total assets under management at the group topped €2trn for the first time, with third-party assets increasing by €23bn last quarter, to €1.5trn.

"We are very confident to reach our targets for this year," said Oliver Bäte, chief executive. "During the first nine months of 2018 Allianz showed a strong performance across the board, now also supported by substantial productivity gains."

The group Solvency II ratio of 229% at the end of September was marginally below the 230% at mid-year.

P&C operating profit grew by 44.6%, year on year to €1.5bn. The combined ratio of 93.1% was also an improvement, from 96.9% a year ago as natcat losses reverted to a "normal level" and there was better underlying claims development

Giulio Terzariol, chief financial officer, said P&C enjoyed "strong results in our core markets", and the COR was on track to meet the group's 94% target.

Life and health profit fell slightly thanks to unfavourable moves in currency exchange rates and less harvesting of investment gains. But Allianz said the level achieved for life and health overall was still "good".

The present value of new business premiums increased to €13.4bn last quarter, thanks to selling more fixed-indexed annuities in the US, and "capital-efficient" products in German. This was partially counter-balanced by lower life sales in Asia. The new business margin was 3.5% because of a better business mix and favourable economic conditions in the US.

"Our life and health insurance segment is performing well and generates growing revenues and good margins," said Terzariol. "The value of new business grew by 16% in the third quarter.

Allianz is driving an annualised return on its equity of 13.8%, up from the 11.8% for the 2017 calendar year

The group completed its latest share buy-back programme, of €1bn, in September.

David Walker