© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of insurer Allianz SE is seen on the company building in Puteaux at the financial and business district of La Defense near Paris, outside Paris, France, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo
FRANKFURT (Reuters) -German insurer Allianz (DE:) on Friday posted a better-than-expected 46% jump in second-quarter net profit and provided a rosier outlook for the full year as it emerges from pressure on business caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Net profit attributable to shareholders of 2.225 billion euros ($2.60 billion) in the three months through June compares with 1.528 billion euros a year earlier. The figure beat a 2.055 billion euro consensus forecast.
More optimistic about the outlook for this year, the company said it now expects operating profit in 2021 to be in the upper half of a range of between 11 billion and 13 billion euros.
“We are confident about the second half of 2021,” said Giulio Terzariol, chief financial officer.
Last year, the insurer abandoned its profit target due to economic uncertainty resulting from the pandemic and posted its first decline in operating profit in nearly a decade.
Allianz, like other insurers, had faced clients making claims for business interruption and cancelled events from lockdowns, while demand for car and travel insurance fell.
In another sign of a return to normal times for the insurance group, Allianz announced on Thursday plans to buy back up to 750 million euros worth of shares by the end of the year, after last year cancelling a buyback halfway through due to the pandemic.
The group has done several major buyback programmes since 2017, spending a total 8.25 billion euros on its own stock.
Allianz provided a bit more detail on an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into losses at its fund management division.
It said on Friday that the DOJ had also “requested information from certain current and former AllianzGI U.S. employees”.
Allianz reiterated that it was cooperating, as it was with an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed last year.
The DOJ and SEC investigations follow lawsuits by U.S. investors claiming close to $6 billion in losses from a family of funds, saying Allianz failed to safeguard their investments during the coronavirus market meltdown.
($1 = 0.8457 euros)
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