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Allianz profits 'fell by half in 2011'

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Allianz profits 'fell by half in 2011'
Photo: DPA
10:58 CET+01:00
German insurance giant Allianz said on Thursday natural catastrophes and losses on its investments in Greece slashed its bottom-line in half in 2011.

The company announced they had booked net profit of €2.545 billion ($3.4 billion) last year, a drop of 49.6 percent from a year earlier.

In the fourth quarter alone, net profit fell by 56.6 percent to €492 million.

The decline "was mainly due to very conservative write-downs of €1.9 billion from Greek sovereign debt and investments, particularly in financials,"

Allianz explained.

But at an operating level, the insurer insisted that it achieved its targets for 2011, "despite volatile financial markets and an unusually high level of natural catastrophes."

Operating profit fell by 4.6 percent to €7.866 billion and revenues were down 2.7 percent at €106.5 billion, the statement said.

"2011 was a tough year. But we maintained our stability throughout. That's an extraordinary achievement," said chief executive Michael Diekmann.

As a result, Allianz said it would pay an unchanged dividend of €4.50 per share.

Looking ahead, "we are expecting similar global economic conditions in 2012 with a moderate improvement in the second half of the year," Diekmann said.

"The first steps to stabilise the eurozone have already been implemented successfully. We are confident about our strong business opportunities in 2012," he said.

Allianz was therefore raising its operating profit outlook to "€8.2 billion, plus or minus €0.5 billion," the chief executive said.

Investors appeared satisfied with the results and Allianz shares were the main gainers on the Frankfurt stock exchange on Thursday, adding 1.04 percent to €90.75.

AFP/jcw

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