Allianz reaffirms 2019 guidance as Q1 profits beat estimates

Allianz on Tuesday confirmed its full-year profit guidance after reporting first-quarter results that narrowly beat analyst expectations.

The insurance group reported a 7.5 per cent year-on-year increase in operating profit in the first quarter of 2019 to €2.96bn, ahead of the €2.86bn forecast by a poll of 18 analysts published by Allianz. Net income attributable to shareholders rose by 1.6 per cent to €1.97bn, compared to the €1.88bn expected by analysts. 

Post-tax profits grew slower than operating profits as the Munich-based group digested “lower non-operating investment income” and higher taxes, according to a statement. 

Group revenue increased by 9.1 per cent to €40.3bn. 

Chief executive Oliver Bäte said that the first-quarter performance put “the group on track to meet its 2019 full-year targets”. Allianz in February forecast operating profits of €11bn-12bn in 2019, against €11.5bn for the previous year. 

Property-casualty insurance drove profits in the first quarter, with operating profit increasing by 14.2 per cent to €1.5bn, driven by strong premium growth, fewer losses from natural catastrophes and lower costs. 

Operating profit in life and health insurance grew 2.5 per cent to €1.1bn, while the asset management division reported a 3.7 per cent drop in operating profit to €573m. Third-party assets under management grew by €112bn to an all-time high of €1.55tn. 

Allianz’ Solvency II ratio, a key yardstick for the strength of its balance sheet, stood at 218 per cent, well above the company’s minimum target of 160 per cent, but 11 percentage points lower than at the end of 2018. The drop was partly driven by a €1.5bn share buyback announced in February. 

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