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Allianz Announces Record Losses, Lufthansa Savings Package Reaps Rewards

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Allianz has suffered its first ever loss

Allianz Announces Record Losses

The giant German insurance company Allianz announced annual losses in 2002 of €1.2 billion ($1.27 billion) on Thursday. It is the first loss the Munich-based insurer has ever recorded and was blamed on the continued losses at Dresdner Bank, which Allianz acquired in 2001. Despite the loss, dividends remained unchanged at €1.50 ($1.58) per share. In face of the losses, Dresdner Bank announced on Wednesday that Bernd Fahrholz had tendered his resignation as chairman of the board of managing directors. Deutsche Bank manager Herbert Walter is expected to take over the top position at Germany's third-biggest bank. Walter was previously head of private and business clients at Deutsche Bank. He was appointed to the Allianz Group's supervisory board on Wednesday.

Lufthansa Savings Package Reaps Rewards

A savings plan imposed after the terror attacks in the United States in 2001 fuelled increased Lufthansa sales last year, the German airline said Thursday. The airline announced that sales in 2002 rose to €17 billion ($18 billion) from €16.7 billion in 2001. The carrier managed to sink operating costs by 5.4 percent on the previous year to €17.5 billion and slash it debt by about 70 percent. The airline ended last year with an operating profit of €718 million. "The concern has proved itself to be flexible, quick to react and can withstand crisis," Lufthansa chief Jürgen Weber said. However, he said the U.S.-led war against Iraq meant that the current malaise in the airline industry would not end anytime soon. Lufthansa did not expect to repeat its 2002 performance this year, the carrier said.