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Allianz Q4 Profit Rises, Lifts Dividend; Plans EUR 3 Bln Buyback; Stock Up




17.02.17 10:52
dpa-AFX


MUNICH (dpa-AFX) - Shares of Allianz SE (AZSEY.

PK) were gaining around 3 percent in the morning trading in Germany after the insurance giant reported Friday higher profit in its fourth quarter. Further, the company lifted its dividend, and said it plans up to 3 billion euros of share buyback.


Oliver Bäte, CEO of Allianz SE, stated, "we feel confident enough to raise our operating profit target range. The group aims to achieve an operating result of 10.8 billion euros, plus or minus 500 million euros, in 2017, barring unforeseen events, crises or natural catastrophes."


In fiscal 2016, the company's operating profit was 10.83 billion euros.


Allianz said it saw further progress in implementing its Renewal Agenda in 2016, putting the company well on track to achieve its 2018 targets.


For the fourth quarter, net income attributable to shareholders rose 23 percent to 1.74 billion euros from last year's 1.42 billion euros. Earnings per share were 3.83 euros, compared to 3.12 euros a year ago..


Operating profit increased 9.3 percent from last year to 2.8 billion euros, largely due to a stronger underwriting result in the Property and Casualty segment, where operating profit rose 16.4 percent.


Fourth-quarter total revenues were 30 billion euros, up 0.9 percent from 29.7 billion euros in the prior year.


Property and Casualty insurance gross premiums written rose 2.4 percent year-over-year to 11.2 billion euros. Adjusted for foreign exchange and consolidation effects, internal growth was 3.6 percent, driven by a positive volume effect of 2 percent and a positive price effect of 1.6 percent.


Third-party assets under management or AuM increased 6.7% to 1.36 trillion euros in 2016, mostly due to positive market effects.


Further, Allianz SE said it has decided to launch a share buy-back program with a volume of up to 3 billion euros. The move is part of its previously announced plan to return unused capital from the group's budget for external growth from the period 2014 to 2016. The program would start on February 17, 2017 and last no longer than 12 months. Allianz SE will cancel all repurchased shares.


Allianz SE said its Board of Management proposed to raise the dividend further to 7.60 euros per share from 7.30 euros.


The Boards have now decided to simplify Group capital management to make it more flexible. In future, 50 percent of Group net attributable income will still be returned to shareholders in the form of a regular dividend, the company noted. Allianz also aims to keep the regular dividend per share at least at the level paid in the previous year.


Allianz said it saw further progress in implementing its Renewal Agenda in 2016, putting the company well on track to achieve its 2018 targets.


In Germany, Allianz shares were trading at 162.50 euros, up 2.62 percent.


Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX



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