Insurer Allianz net drops to $350 million

AP News
Posted: Nov 11, 2011 6:50 AM
Insurer Allianz net drops to $350 million

German insurer Allianz SE saw third quarter profits sag to euro258 million ($350 million) from euro1.27 billion ($1.73 billion) the year before because of investment losses and Greek bond writedowns from Europe's debt crisis.

The company's result was well short of the euro766 million predicted by analysts surveyed by FactSet. Revenue fell 1.8 percent to euro24.07 billion.

Munich-based Allianz said Friday it lost euro122 million from writing down Greek bonds, and euro817 million ($1112.43 million) from the fallen value of its holdings in other financial companies such as banks and insurers.

Greece is in the process of working out a debt reduction that includes bondholders taking 50 percent losses on the value of their investments. Fears that Greece's problems will infect larger countries such as Italy have led to sharp swings on stock and bond markets.

Allianz said it would stay with its profit estimate for the full year of operating earnings of euro8.0 billion plus or minus euro0.5 billion.

"All market participants are confronted at this time with the uncertainty and large swings on capital markets," said Oliver Baete, head of controlling, reporting and risk.

The company's basic property and casualty insurance business showed a slight decline of 1 percent in operating earnings to euro1.11 billion ($1.51 billion), and its combined ratio slipped to 97.6 percent from 97.1 percent in the same quarter a year ago. The ratio measure costs and claims against premiums, ratios under 100 therefore show the gain from basic underwriting.

The company said it suffered higher losses from natural catastrophes but was able to make up some of that with higher prices.