Allianz says German new business good, offers jobs

FRANKFURT - Allianz reported a jump in new life insurance business in its home market in the first half of the year, boosted by pension sales, and said it would offer sales jobs to employees threatened by restructuring.



By (Reuters)

Published: Thu 17 Aug 2006, 6:30 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:17 PM

New business in the company’s German life insurance arm rose by 20.6 percent to 8.9 billion euros ($11.4 billion) in the first six months, Allianz said in a statement on Thursday.

Surging demand for Riester private retirement plans, which are designed to supplement dwindling state-provided pensions in the years ahead, gave a strong boost to new business, it said.

Allianz sold 110,000 Riester policies in the six months to end-June, triple the amount sold in the first half of 2005, making the pension plan Allianz’s best-selling product.

The insurer’s shares were up 0.27 percent at 131.60 euros at 1212 GMT, compared with a 0.04 percent gain in the German benchmark index and a 0.2 percent gain in the DJ Stoxx index of European insurance shares.

Germany’s GDV insurance industry association reported this week that some 882,000 Riester plans had been sold nationwide in the first six months, more than triple last year’s figure.

Premium income for Allianz’s German life insurance business was up 9.6 percent in the first half at 6.2 billion euros. Allianz released preliminary figures earlier this month. Allianz’s property and casualty business in Germany fared less well in the first half, in part reflecting severe competition and price-cutting in the motor insurance business.

Property and casualty premium income fell 1.9 percent to 6.2 billion euros, with premiums for motor insurance falling 4.4 percent to 2.5 billion euros as Allianz countered Internet-based competitors and other rivals by slashing prices.

Public uncertainty over government health care reforms also helped boost Allianz’s business in the first half of the year as it sold more supplemental and comprehensive health cover.

“Premium income for health insurance increased by 1.5 percent to 1.5 billion euros during the first six months of the current year, despite a difficult market environment,” it said.

Job offer

Allianz has brought its property, life and health insurance operations under a single roof to boost efficiency after it lost more than 1 million customers in recent years.

Labour unions have protested the company’s plans to cut about 5,000 jobs, or one-sixth of its German workforce, but Allianz says the reorganisation is unavoidable.

“We want to become Europe’s most advanced insurance company and are therefore keeping to our plans to restructure the German insurance business,” Gerhard Rupprecht, head of Allianz’s merged German insurance businesses, said in the statement.

However, Rupprecht offered the prospect of a new career in the company’s sales force for workers affected by restructuring.

“The next two years will see a total of around 3,000 openings throughout Germany in the employed sales force,” Allianz said, adding that it intended to appoint suitable employees from office staff to these posts.

“We expect to attract a lot of employees to jobs in sales. We aim to support them along this path as well,” Rupprecht said.


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