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Allianz posts higher profit, affirms 2017 guidance

Allianz posts higher profit, affirms 2017 guidance

(Reuters) — German insurer Allianz S.E. confirmed its guidance for 2017 on Wednesday and reported higher profit for the first quarter that was slightly better than expected.

First-quarter operating profit rose 9.4% to €2.9 billion ($3.16 billion), while revenue was 2.5% higher at €36.2 billion ($39.51 billion).

“Our first-quarter results were a good start into 2017 and our balance sheet remained strong,” Chief Executive Oliver Baetee said in a statement.

Net income attributable to shareholders was €1.8 billion ($1.96 billion) in the quarter, down 15.3% from a year ago, which Allianz attributed largely to year-earlier one-off gains from the sale of financial stakes.

Operating profit was 4% better than market consensus expectations, and net income was 2% better than forecasts, according to UBS.

The group affirmed its forecast for 2017 operating profit of €10.8 billion euros ($11.8 billion), plus or minus €500 million ($545 million), barring unforeseen events, crises or natural catastrophes.

“There is little detail in the numbers but the key indicators show that the underlying business is delivering,” RBC Capital Markets said in a note. “The highlights provided today suggest that the business segments are performing well.”

Allianz and the insurance industry are facing challenges including increased regulation, competition from financial technology startups, uncertain U.S. policy, and questions surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union. “We are looking optimistically to the future, though I will remind you that we are operating in a very, very difficult environment,” Mr. Baete told investors at the AGM.


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