(Bloomberg) – Allianz SE said first-quarter profit surged 21 percent, beating analysts’ estimates, as Europe’s biggest insurer was helped by gains from selling investments. The shares rose.
Net income climbed to 2.2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) from 1.8 billion euros a year earlier, the Munich-based company said in a statement on Monday. The average estimate of six analysts was for earnings of about 1.55 billion euros, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“We had a strong start to 2016, reinforcing our confidence that we will be able to reach our outlook for 2016 despite the fact that this is a challenging year for the financial services industry,” Chief Executive Officer Oliver Baete said.
Baete, 51, has reinforced Allianz’s earnings ambitions by adding two earnings targets even as the insurance industry grapples with stricter regulatory capital requirements, low interest rates and subdued prices in some markets. On Monday the company confirmed its operating-profit goal of 10 billion euros to 11 billion euros this year. The measure slid 3.5 percent in the quarter as sales dropped 6.4 percent.
The shares extended earlier gains, rising as much as 3.8 percent to 153.95 euros. Allianz was up 3.1 percent to 152.80 euros as of 4:34 p.m. in Frankfurt, topping Germany’s benchmark DAX Index of the country’s 30 biggest stocks.