Allianz sees better 2021 after worst year in nearly a decade

The logo of Allianz is seen on a building in Paris, France

German insurer Allianz posted its first fall in annual operating profit in nearly a decade on Friday on higher claims from businesses hit by lockdowns and lower demand for car and travel insurance.

Operating profit fell 9.3% to 10.75 billion euros ($13.01 billion) in its first decline since 2011 when it was hit with claims from a tsunami in Japan and write-offs during the European debt crisis.

The company aims to achieve a 2021 operating profit of 12 billion euros, plus or minus 1 billion euros.

“We are hence in a good position to deliver on our 2021 ambition,” CEO Oliver Baete said.

Net profit attributable to shareholders fell 14% to 6.8 billion euros but the slide shrank to a smaller-than-expected 2.2% in the final quarter.

Fourth-quarter net profit of 1.817 billion euros topped the 1.753 billion expected by analysts.

“In our view, Allianz’s release reads surprisingly positively,” Jefferies wrote in a note to clients.

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