Home Financial News German insurer Allianz stands by 2011 earnings target

German insurer Allianz stands by 2011 earnings target

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The biggest European insurance  group, Allianz, Thursday stuck with its full-year forecast even though first  quarter results were hit by a triplet of Asian disasters.

Net group profit fell by 45.2 percent to 857 million euros ($1.2 billion),  the insurance company said in a statement that added to provisional figures  released last week.

“Despite the difficult operating environment Allianz remains on track to  reach its operating profit target for 2011 of eight billion euros, plus or  minus 0.5 billion euros,” Allianz said.

Finance director Oliver Baete was quoted as saying that “for Allianz, the  past quarter took one of the hardest hits from natural catastrophes of any  quarter in the last two decades.”

In addition to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the group was  exposed to losses from devastating floods and a typhoon in Australia in  January and February, and an earthquake in New Zealand in late February.

It faced costs from those catastrophes of 737 million euros in the three  month period, roughly one third more than in the same period of 2010.

First quarter sales fell by 2.2 percent to 29.9 billion euros and Allianz’s  operating profit was 4.2 percent lower at 1.66 billion euros.

Insurers and re-insurers worldwide have told a similar story as the string  of disasters slammed first quarter results.

In Japan alone, the government has estimated that direct damage from the  9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, which also triggered the world’s worst  nuclear accident since Chernobyl 25 years ago, could reach $300 billion.

Frankfurt, Germany, May 12, 2011 (AFP)