German insurer Allianz hasreported a 70% jump in first-quarter pre-tax profits, boosted by one-off gains from the sale of industrial holdings.

Group pre-tax profits between January and March rose to €2.4bn (£1.5bn) from €1.4bn (£883m) in the same period last year.

Net income leapt 171% to ¤1.9bn (£1.2bn). The group's combined ratio for the first quarter rose 0.7 points to 103.4%. This was better than the ratio for 2001, which was 108.8%.

Allianz said general insurance premiums in the UK had grown by 18.2% to €700m (£441.5m).

The group's total first quarter revenue was €25.4bn (£16bn).

Allianz said the rise in profits had been spurred by the sale of its stakes in Munich Re and telecommunications group Mannesmann.