Allianz Ireland, the German insurer’s Irish subsidiary, registered a 54 percent increase in operating profits, reflecting an 11 percent increase in premiums, but still posted a drop in overall profits of 74 percent for 2000 due to a sharp decline in investment earnings.
The insurer, in which Allianz holds a 69.6 percent stake, saw its returns on its investments drop from IR£63.8 million ($56.67 million) to IR£33.7 million ($29.94 million) last year. CEO John O’Hanlon indicated that the balance achieved between operations and investments was nonetheless a good sign for Ireland’s third largest insurer.
He also warned of further increases in premiums, especially in automobile insurance rates, which haven’t kept pace with the mounting accident toll on Ireland’s sinuous roads, as more and bigger cars use them in the wake of the Republic’s “Celtic Tiger” prosperity.
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