Europe's biggest insurer, Allianz saw profits more than double last year, amid signs that the eurozone may be stabilizing. Munich-based Allianz said Thursday that net profit had topped analysts' forecasts to rise to 5.16 billion euros (6.84 billion dollars) in 2012, from 2.54 billion euros in 2011, when earnings were hit by a series of major natural disasters and a write down of Greek debt.
Analysts had expected the group to post net earnings for 2012 of 5.14 billion euros.
"There seem to be the first signs of stability in the eurozone and some observers expect the world economy to regain a bit of momentum towards the end of the year," said chief executive Michael Diekmann in releasing the results.
The gain in annual earnings followed a surge in fourth-quarter 2012 net profit to 1.22 billion euros, from 492 million euros in the same period in 2011.
Looking ahead, Diekmann said the company expects to book an operating profit this year of 9.2 billion euros, plus or minus 500 million euros.
This came after Allianz said its operating profit rose 21 per cent to 9.5 billion euros in 2012.
Group revenue for 2012 rose to a higher-than-forecast 106.4 billion euros from 103.6 billion euros in 2011, the company said.
Allianz has proposed holding its dividend at 4.5 euros a share.
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