German insurance firm Allianz has said its net profit more than doubled in 2012. Fewer damage claims and less financial stress from the eurozone debt crisis contributed to the second-best result in company history.
Allianz net profit in 2012 surged to 5.2 billion euros ($6.8 billion) from the about 2.5 billion euros that Europe's biggest insurance company earned in 2011, according to its annual earnings report released on Thursday.
Underlying operating profit rose by 21 percent to 9.5 billion euros, as revenues grew by 2.7 percent to 106 billion euros.
The doubling in net profit was the result of an easing of the financial crisis, notably the Greek debt crisis, which in 2011 forced Allianz to take huge writedowns on its holdings, the insurer said in a statement.
In addition, earnings improved on the back of lower damage claims and higher premium revenue in countries such as Germany and Australia, as well as some in Latin America.
Noting that the result exceeded company forecasts, Allianz Chief Executive Michael Diekmann said the insurer's business model proved its ability to handle the various forms of turbulence created by the financial crisis.
Diekmann added that he was confident about 2013 earnings and profitability, despite an adverse environment, marked by historically low interest rates and global economic uncertainty.
"Assuming that natural catastrophes and capital market turbulence do not exceed expected levels, our operating profit outlook for 2013 is 9.2 billion euros, plus or minus 500 million euros," Diekmann said.
The CEO announced that the companys dividend for 2012 would remain unchanged at 4.50 euros per share.
uhe/pfd (AP, AFP, dpa)