Michael Diekmann, head of Allianz, Europe's largest insurer that joined forces with Dresdner Bank to become the world's fourth largest financial group, on Thursday reported a net profit of €1.616 billion ($2 billion) for 2003. That followed a loss of €1.2 billion the previous year. Allianz's profit was largely credited to a €2.8 billion gain from the sale of a stake in Beiersdorf, the maker of Nivea skin cream. The windfall asset sale helped the insurer avoid another year in the red after its troubled Dresdner Bank unit turned in a second consecutive annual loss of over €1 billion. Diekmann admitted it would take time before the group managed to shake up Dresdner and pledged to boost profits by selling more loss-making business.