Germany’s Allianz Group posted preliminary figures for 2009, indicating that its net income rose by 13.2 percent to €4.7 billion [$6.4 billion]. Revenues were up up 5.2 percent to €97.4 billion [$132.5 billion]. Life and Health revenues exceeded €50 billion [$68 billion]. Operating profits totaled €7.2 billion [$9.79 billion], €147 million [$200 million] less than in 2008.
Allianz’ overall combined ratio was 97.4 percent; its solvency ratio increased 7 percentage points to 164 percent, and a dividend increase of 17 percent to €4.10 [$5.58] per share for 2009 is planned.
The Group’s bulletin noted that Allianz’ “business segments coped with one of the most volatile economic environments in history during the first two quarters, and achieved positive growth and earnings momentum in the second half of the year.
“The continued profitability of the operating segments, along with lower impairments following the recovery of the capital markets, contributed to net income from continuing operations €4.7 billion euros,” compared to €4.2 billion [$5.713 billion] in 2008.
CEO Michael Diekmann commented: “2009 was an important and successful year for the Allianz Group. While the financial crisis undoubtedly impacted our results, we have nevertheless delivered a very robust and sound performance quarter on quarter. This reliability is highly-valued by our customers and all our other stakeholders alike.”
The report pointed out that the “sluggish economy and soft markets put downward pressure on overall results in this segment, and gross premiums written decreased 2 percent to €42.5 billion [$57.85 billion].” However, Allianz said it was able to was able to grow its P/C insurance business in 2009 in “Australia, the Asia-Pacific region, South America, and the United Kingdom, where margins are attractive.”
Operating profit in the Group’s P/C sector was nonetheless adversly affected. It fell to €4.1 billion [$5.8 billion], a 28 percent drop compared to €5.6 billion [$7.62 billion] in 2008.”The two biggest drivers were a decline of €600 million [$812 million] in operating investment income and an underwriting result which was down by €700 million [$947 million].
The combined ratio of 97.4 percent, was 2.0 percentage points above the 2008 figure. Allianz said tha while “entities in Germany and France, as well as the Credit Insurance business, are still challenged by the soft market environment, they showed a positive trend in the second half of the year.
Oliver Bäte, member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE stated: “We saw extraordinary challenges in the first half of 2009. But our Property and Casualty business is well positioned for improvements in 2010 after seeing a positive trend in operating profit during the last two quarters of the year.”
As far as the future is concerned Diekmann indicated: “With regard to key figures for the fiscal year 2010, we believe that our operating profit will be at the same level as 2009. However, given the still volatile market environment, it is impossible to give a precise forecast. Already, a change in our combined ratio of one percentage point impacts our operating profit by around €400 million [$544.5 million]. Management focus in 2010 will be again on investment performance as well as combined ratio.”
The complete report, additional information and details on accessing the anaylsts earnings conference call may be accessed on the Group’s web site at: www.allianz.com.
Source: Allianz SE
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