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German insurer Allianz says net profit plunged in Q2

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The German insurance giant Allianz said on Friday that its second-quarter net profit plunged by 45.6 percent from the same period a year earlier to 1.02 billion euros (1.34 billion dollars).

The quarter rounded out a first half that was “marked by exceptionally high natural catastrophe losses,” a statement quoted chief executive Michael Diekmann as saying. The group said the fall also stemmed from “a low level of harvesting” compared with the same period a year earlier, when Allianz booked a high level of gains on investments in stocks, debt securities and real estate.

It reported a gain of 181 million euros for that line this year, against 959 million in the second quarter of 2009. Allianz’s operating profit this year gained 22.7 percent however to 2.19
billion euros, while sales were 14.5 percent higher at 25.4 billion euros, it said. For the first six months of 2010, the insurer made an operating profit of 3.9 billion euros, allowing Diekmann to confirm its full-year forecast.

“We are confident that we can achieve our outlook for operating profit for the entire year of around 7.2 billion euros, with a fluctuation range of plus or minus 500 million euros,” he said. Breaking down the data, Allianz said second-quarter gross premiums, the industry’s term for sales, in its property and casualty division had gained 4.5 percent on the year to 10 billion euros.

Claims from natural disasters in the quarter amounted to 255 million euros meanwhile. Sales in the life and health insurance division gained 20 percent to 14.1 billion euros. The group’s asset management unit more than doubled its operating profit to 516 million euros from 246 million a year earlier.

Division chief Oliver Baete said: “With positive net inflows for six consecutive quarters, we are succeeding in growing our asset management business into a real performance engine. “The contribution of this business to Allianz Group net income has grown significantly over time and accounted for 21.2 percent in the second quarter.”

Frankfurt, Aug 6, 2010 (AFP)