Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer, said second-quarter profit rose 15 percent as lower claims from natural catastrophes offset a drop in earnings at Pacific Investment Management Co.
Net income increased to 2.02 billion euros ($2.2 billion) from 1.76 billion euros [$1.9 billion] a year earlier, the Munich-based company said Friday. That compared with an average estimate of 1.79 billion euros [$1.9 billion] of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Insurers have benefited from a decline in natural catastrophes in the second quarter, as pressure on prices and low interest rates held back revenue. The lower catastrophe claims helped second-quarter profit at Allianz’s property and casualty division increase 39 percent to 1.34 billion euros [$1.4 billion].
In property and casualty “all profit components contributed to the strong growth, including investment and underwriting results as well as the net gain from the sale of the Fireman’s Fund personal insurance business,” Chief Financial Officer Dieter Wemmer said in the statement.
The firm confirmed its outlook for 2015 operating profit, saying it will now be at the upper end of the range at 10.8 billion euros [$11.6 billion].
The economic solvency ratio according to Solvency II, which measures financial strength, improved to 212 percent at the end of the second quarter from 192 percent three months earlier.
Operating profit at the asset management division, which consists of Newport Beach, California-based PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors, fell 25 percent on the year to 505 million euros [$540 million] in the second quarter.
The shares fell 0.8 percent to 153.75 euros as of 1:24 p.m. in Frankfurt, paring gains this year to 12 percent and valuing the company at 70.4 billion euros [$75.3 billion]. That compared with an advance of 15 percent for the 35-member Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index.
“Net outlooks in asset management are still on a high level,” said Thorsten Wenzel, an analyst at DZ Bank AG in Frankfurt. “On the positive side, net profit is clearly above expectations, economic solvency at a strong level and the guidance was slightly adjusted upwards.”
Two years of withdrawals at PIMCO’s flagship PIMCO Total Return Fund, spurred by the departure of Bill Gross in September last year, have hit returns at Allianz’s asset management business, the largest in Europe.
Pimco is planning to return flows to “close to break-even in the third quarter,” Allianz Chief Financial Officer Dieter Wemmer said in an interview. “Some days end up as an inflow, some as an outflow.”
Withdrawals from Pimco’s funds decreased compared with the end of 2014, totaling 29.3 billion euros [$31.3 billion] in the quarter, Allianz said. Allianz GI posted record third-party net inflows of about 6.7 billion euros [$7.2 billion], helped by Europe.
–With assistance from Chris Malpass in Berlin.
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