Allianz AG  (AZSEY) said cash flowed into its Pimco asset management division at the fastest pace in four years in the first quarter as Europe's biggest insurance group posted stronger-than-expected earnings and reiterated its full-year outlook.

Allianz said €21 billion ($22.8 billion) in third party assets were added to Pimco, the world's biggest bond fund, in the three months ending in March, the most since the first quarter of 2013. Overall assets under management grew €42 billion from the final quarter of last year, the company said, while collectively, Allianz Global Investors now has 339 billion in assets under management, an increase of 4.4% from the previous quarter.

"Third-party net inflows at Pimco picked up speed due to Pimco's strong outperformance in several investment strategies," said Allianz CFO Dieter Wemmer. "This, combined with prudent cost management, helped drive a strong increase in operating profit in Asset Management in the quarter."

Allianz said operating profit for first quarter rose 9.4% to €2.9 billion and reiterated its full year operating profit target of €10.8 billion.

Allianz shares were marked 0.37% lower at €172.36 each by 11:00 CET in Frankfurt, trimming the year-to-date gain to around 10%.