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Allianz Delivers As Promised - Full Year and Quarterly Earnings Release 2018

  • Internal revenue growth of 6.1 percent in 2018
  • 2018 operating profit of 11.5 billion euros in the upper end of our 2018 target range
  • 2018 net income attributable to shareholders grew 9.7 percent to 7.5 billion euros
  • Solvency II capitalization ratio of 229 percent at end-2018, unchanged compared to end-2017
  • Board of Management proposes a dividend of 9 euros per share, up 12.5 percent
  • Renewal Agenda 1.0 successfully implemented
  • Operating profit target for 2019 is 11.5 billion euros, plus or minus 500 million euros, barring unforeseen events
  • 4Q 2018 internal revenue growth of 4.4 percent, 4Q 2018 operating profit up 0.4 percent to 2.8 billion euros; 4Q 2018 net income attributable to shareholders up 18.9 percent to 1.7 billion euros
  • New share buy-back program of up to 1.5 billion euros announced

Management Summary: Operating profit highest in Allianz’s history

Allianz Group had a successful year in 2018 meeting its performance targets in all segments and maintaining a high level of capital strength. The achievement of our Renewal Agenda objectives has laid the foundation for this very good performance. Based on preliminary figures internal revenue growth, which adjusts for currency and consolidation effects, amounted to 6.1 percent, and was supported by all operating business segments.

Total revenues grew 3.5 percent to 130.6 (2017: 126.1) billion euros. With the increase of 3.7 percent, the operating profit of 11.5 (11.1) billion euros is in the upper end of the Group’s announced target range of 10.6 to 11.6 billion euros and the highest in our history. Operating profit growth was mostly attributable to our Property-Casualty business segment, which reported a strong rise in operating profit of 13.3 percent. This was due to an improved expense ratio, lower claims from natural catastrophes, and premium growth. Our Asset Management business segment also saw an increase in operating profit due to a rise in assets under management (AuM) driven revenues. As a result of a lower investment margin amidst higher financial market volatility, our Life/Health business segment operating profit decreased.

Net income attributable to shareholders grew 9.7 percent to 7.5 (6.8) billion euros. An increased operating profit and lower income taxes more than offset the decline in our non-operating result.

Basic Earnings per Share (EPS) increased 14.4 percent to 17.43 (15.24) euros for the year 2018. Return on Equity (RoE) amounted to 13.2 percent (11.8 percent). The Solvency II capitalization ratio amounted to 229 percent at end-2018, unchanged compared to end-2017. The Board of Management will propose a dividend of 9 euros per share for 2018, up 12.5 percent compared to 2017.

Allianz continued to improve customer experience in 2018. 74 percent of businesses worldwide achieved a Net Promoter Score (NPS) above market average compared to 60 percent in the previous year. The Inclusive Meritocracy Index (IMIX), which measures leadership and performance culture, was at 71 percent in 2018, close to our target level of 72 percent. These measures reflect Allianz's efforts to serve customers and engage employees in the best possible way.

Allianz completed two share buy-back programs in 2018 with a total volume of 3.0 billion euros. All repurchased shares have been cancelled. A new share buy-back program of up to 1.5 billion euros has been announced on February 14, 2019.

“I am very proud of the global Allianz family for delivering such a great set of results. We reached the highest net income of the past ten years despite strong market volatility, especially in the fourth quarter,” said Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer of Allianz SE. “Our customers continue to rely on us, and it’s with them in mind that we are focusing on simplicity in the next iteration of our strategy.”

In the fourth quarter of 2018, operating profit amounted to 2.8 (2.8) billion euros: a higher operating profit from our Property-Casualty business segment was mostly offset by a decline in our Life/Health and Asset Management business segments. The increase in the operating profit from our Property-Casualty business segment was mostly due to a higher investment result. Our Life/Health business segment operating profit declined mainly due to a lower technical margin in France. The decrease in operating profit from our Asset Management business segment was mostly driven by lower performance fees. Net income attributable to shareholders increased by 18.9 percent to 1.7 (1.4) billion euros in the fourth quarter of 2018 due to an improved non-operating result and lower income taxes.

“Allianz achieved excellent results in 2018 with operating profit of 11.5 billion euros, reaching the upper end of the Group’s announced target range of 10.6 to 11.6 billion euros,” said Giulio Terzariol, Chief Financial Officer of Allianz SE. “Our healthy and well-diversified business makes us confident that we will continue to deliver a strong financial performance again this year. The Group looks to generate an operating profit of 11.5 billion euros in 2019, plus or minus 500 million euros, barring unforeseen events.”


Property-Casualty insurance: Strong internal growth and good operating performance

  • Gross premiums written amounted to 53.6 (52.3) billion euros in 2018. Adjusted for foreign currency translation and consolidation effects, internal growth totaled 5.7 percent. Volume and price effects contributed 4.0 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. For internal growth, AGCS, Germany, and Allianz Partners were the main growth drivers.
  • Operating profit increased by 13.3 percent to 5.7 billion euros in 2018 compared to the previous year. This increase was mainly due to a strong underwriting result, driven by a lower expense ratio, the absence of high severity losses from natural catastrophes, and to a lesser extent premium growth. Our operating investment result also contributed positively.
  • The combined ratio improved by 1.2 percentage points to 94.0 percent.

“I am pleased by our strong internal growth and our good operating performance in the Property and Casualty business segment,” said Giulio Terzariol. “We reached our goal of a 94 percent combined ratio by our consistently disciplined underwriting and moreover by a substantially improved expense ratio.”

In the fourth quarter of 2018, gross premiums written increased to 11.7 (11.3) billion euros. Adjusted for foreign currency translation and consolidation effects, internal growth amounted to 5.1 percent, with volume and price effects contributing 2.8 percent and 2.3 percent respectively. Operating profit increased by 14.0 percent to 1.5 billion euros compared to the same period of the prior year due to a higher investment and underwriting result. The combined ratio for the fourth quarter of 2018 improved by 0.4 percentage points to 94.1 percent.


Life and Health insurance: Continued profitable growth in new business

  • PVNBP1, the present value of new business premiums, increased to 58.5 (55.5) billion euros in 2018. This was mainly due to higher sales of capital-efficient products in the German life insurance business, in our business with fixed-indexed annuities in the United States, as well as in most lines of business in Italy.
  • The new-business margin (NBM) strengthened in 2018 to 3.6 (3.4) percent, supported by favorable market conditions. The value of new business (VNB) grew to 2.1 (1.9) billion euros in 2018, driven by the increase in sales and the continued shift to capital-efficient products.
  • Operating profit decreased to 4.2 (4.4) billion euros, the mid-point of our outlook range, which shows the resilience of our business amidst increased financial market volatility. The latter caused a decline of our investment margin through a combination of higher impairments, lower realizations and a decreased trading result in our German and U.S. life businesses.

“The continued growth in new business in the Life and Health business segment reflects the success of our products designed also for the low interest rate environment,” said Giulio Terzariol. “This shows that our customers want the quality and stability Allianz can offer.”

In the fourth quarter of 2018, PVNBP went up to 16.1 (15.2) billion euros, driven by the increased sales of fixed-indexed annuities in the United States. Operating profit decreased to 1.0 (1.1) billion euros, mainly due to a lower technical margin in France. NBM strengthened to 3.9 (3.6) percent, causing the VNB to increase to 631 (550) million euros.

1 PVNBP is shown after non-controlling interests, unless otherwise stated. 
  • Third-party assets under management (AuM) decreased by 12 billion euros to 1,436 billion euros compared to the end of 2017. Hereby, the positive effects from foreign currency translation were not able to compensate for the negative market effects, mainly attributable to the market downturn in the fourth quarter. Net outflows of 3 billion euros made a minor contribution to the decrease. Total assets under management were stable at 1,961 billion euros.
  • The cost-income ratio (CIR) rose by 0.5 percentage points to 62.4 percent in 2018. The ratio‘s rise was due to the inclusion of Allianz Capital Partners and investments in business growth.
  • Operating profit increased by 3.7 percent to 2.5 (2.4) billion euros. This was due to growth in operating revenues, mostly driven by higher average third-party AuM, and an increase in third-party AuM-driven margins, at both PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors. This positive development was only partly offset by increased expenses.

“Asset Management revenues and operating profit increased in a challenging environment in 2018,” said Giulio Terzariol. “Volatility in financial markets, especially in the fourth quarter, led to net outflows. However, the expansion of our margins clearly shows the good health of our business.”

In the fourth quarter of 2018, operating profit went down by 9.1 percent to 633 million euros, mostly due to lower performance fees and higher expenses. The cost-income ratio increased by 3.4 percentage points to 63.6 percent. Third-party AuM decreased by 51 billion euros: negative market effects of 40 billion euros and third-party net outflows of 31 billion euros could not be offset by favorable effects from foreign currency translation of 19 billion euros.

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