German multinational group says all business segments improved, but overall profits flat

Allianz Group reported revenues for the year to December up 3% to €126bn (2016 €122bn), driven by improvements in all business segments.

The German multinational insurance group operating profit was largely flat, rising only 0.4% to €11.1bn, but that was in the upper half of the group’s target range of €10.3bn to €11.3bn.

The Property and Casualty segment saw operating profit fall by 7.5% due primarily to higher natural catastrophe claims in 2017, which the group said was the costliest year ever for the insurance industry.

Claims stemming from California wildfires, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria plus European storms and other natural catastrophes rose to €1.1bn (2016: €0.7bn).

“The group met its performance targets, maintained an extraordinary level of capital strength and returned €3bn to shareholders through share buybacks in 2017,” said group chief executive Oliver Bäte.

“Allianz also made important strategic strides, including an insurance joint venture in the United Kingdom with LV=, and continued expansion into fast-growing markets like Africa. We also increased our stake in Euler Hermes to over 90%, fortifying our engagement in property and casualty insurance.”

Group property & casualty operating profit decreased by 7.5% to €5.1bn in 2017, driven mainly by higher losses from natural catastrophes.

Group GWP rose to €52.3bn (2016: €51.5bn). The group combined ratio rose 0.9 percentage points to 95.2%.