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Allianz holds steady as cat claims rise

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Allianz says third-quarter net profit fell 17.3% to €1.6 billion ($2.4 billion) as hurricanes and other natural catastrophes pushed claims higher.

The combined operating ratio deteriorated 3.4 percentage points to 96.9%, while the property and casualty division’s operating profit dropped 28% to €1 billion ($1.5 billion).

The insurer says the results are “robust” despite the catastrophes, and it expects to deliver full-year operating profit in the upper half of its target range.

“The group absorbed claims stemming from hurricanes, storms and earthquakes in the quarter and still increased operating earnings in the nine-month period,” CEO Oliver Bate said.

Property and casualty gross written premium increased 2.2% to €11.5 billion ($17.5 billion), adjusted for foreign exchange and consolidation effects, while the natural catastrophes caused €529 million ($805 million) in losses.

In Australia operating profit jumped 111.3% to €96 million ($146 million), while the combined operating ratio improved six points to 92.7% after the corresponding period last year was hit by higher claims inflation and frequency in motor.

Revenue for Australia eased 1.3% to €878 million ($1.3 billion), with good growth in property offset by lower revenues in other lines of business.

The global group’s life and health insurance operating profit fell 10.3% to €1.1 billion ($1.7 billion), mainly due to a lower investment margin, while the value of new business increased 28.8% to €410 million ($624 million).

Allianz has announced plans for a further share buyback program of up to €2 billion ($3 billion) for the first six months of next year.