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Allianz Q4 Profit Up, Lifts Dividend, Plans Buyback; Confident Of Strong FY19

allianzse-feb15-lt.jpg

German insurance and asset management company Allianz SE (AZSEY.PK) reported Friday higher profit in its fourth quarter with improved revenues. Further, the company lifted it dividend, and announced a new share buy-back program of up to 1.5 billion euros.

Looking ahead for fiscal 2019, the company projects operating profit of 11.5 billion euros, plus or minus 500 million euros, barring unforeseen events. In 2018, operating profit was 11.5 billion euros.

Giulio Terzariol, Chief Financial Officer, said, "Our healthy and well-diversified business makes us confident that we will continue to deliver a strong financial performance again this year."

For the fourth quarter, net income attributable to shareholders climbed 18.9 percent to 1.7 billion euros from 1.43 billion euros last year. Earnings per share grew to 3.93 euros from 3.24 euros a year ago.

Operating profit edged up 0.4 percent from last year to 2.8 billion euros. The company noted operating profit from Property-Casualty business segment was higher mostly due to a higher investment result. However, this growth was mostly offset by a decline in Life/Health and Asset Management business segments.

Life/Health business segment was hurt by a lower technical margin in France, while Asset Management business segment was hurt by lower performance fees.

Total revenues increased to 32.7 billion euros from prior year's 31.7 billion euros. Internal revenue, which adjusts for currency and consolidation effects, increased 4.4 percent.

In fiscal 2018, attributable net income grew 9.7 percent to 7.5 billion euros and internal revenue growth was 6.1 percent.

Chief Executive Officer Oliver Bäte noted that the company reached the highest net income of the past ten years despite strong market volatility, especially in the fourth quarter.

The Board of Management will propose a dividend of 9 euros per share for 2018, up 12.5 percent compared to 2017.

In Germany, Allianz shares were trading at 185.36 euros, up 0.63 percent.

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