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Allianz Earnings Rise 21%

Europe's biggest insurer reported a rise of 21% in second-quarter earnings as its life and health insurance operations rebounded.

Updated from 1:56 a.m. EDT



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, Europe's biggest insurance company, said second-quarter earnings rose 21% to 1.9 billion euros ($2.73 billion) as it benefited from a rebound in its life and health insurance operations.

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Revenue in the quarter rose to 22.2 billion euros from 21.5 billion euros a year earlier. Operating profit of 1.8 billion euros decreased 33% from a year earlier but rose 26% from the first quarter.

Earnings from continuing operations in the quarter fell 16% to 1.87 billion euros from 2.23 billion euros a year earlier.

Allianz, in a press release Friday, said statutory premium income at its life and health insurance business rose 10% in the second quarter to 11.8 billion euros. Operating profit at the division rose 41% to 990 million euros, with a "very strong investment result" stoking the gains, the insurer said.

Allianz's property and casualty insurance business saw gross premiums written fall to 9.5 billion euros from 9.8 billion euros in the same quarter of lastyear. Operating profit fell 47% on lower investment income and underwriting results.

Operating profit at the company's financial services segment fell 49% to 146 million euros from 285 million euros a year earlier. The decrease was largely from set-up costs of 84 million euros for Allianz Bank in Germany.

"Overall, we achieved very good quarterly results. Allianz is prepared for what we perceive as 'the new normal', an ongoing challenging market environment with structurally lower returns," said CEO Michael Diekmann, in a statement Friday. "We remain strongly capitalized and our low risk profile allows us to withstand potential market shocks. In addition, we are well diversified from both a regional andbusiness unit point of view, and are thus able to benefit from market upturn."

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York