Allianz insurer boosts profit, expects risks from low rates | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 15.05.2013
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Allianz insurer boosts profit, expects risks from low rates

Lower claims and higher premiums boosted the profits of German insurance giant Allianz in the first three months of the year. But the firm didn't hike its profit outlook, fearing low interest rates will hurt earnings.

Allianz posted a net profit of 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in the first quarter of 2013 as revenues rose 6.6 percent to 32 billion euros over the same quarter a year ago, according to data released by the German insurance firm Wednesday.

Net profit was 24 percent higher as net losses from natural disasters increased only slightly to 70 million euros. In addition, higher prices boosted gross premiums at the firm's basic property and casualty insurance business.

Moreover, the insurer's asset management wing, Pimco, contributed 900 million euros to operating profit - 287 million euros more than a year ago.

Describing first-quarter earnings as a promising start into 2013, Allianz Chief Financial Officer Dieter Wemmer said that all units had made significant contributions to the result.

However, Allianz Chief Executive Michael Diekmann warned against extrapolating the first quarter result on the firm's all-year performance. Record low interest rates would weigh on earnings, he said, while the currently benign backdrop of catastrophes could also change.

As a result, Allianz said it maintained its 2013 earnings outlook of 9.2 billion euros, plus or minus 500 million euros, which was in the region of the 9.5 billion euros it made last year.

uhe/hc (Reuters, AP, dpa)

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