Allianz says First-Quarter Profit Nearly Doubles to $4.35 Billion

Allianz said Wednesday its first-quarter profit rose 78% on sales of stakes in BMW and retailer KarstadtQuelle, which helped offset insurance claims from a big storm that walloped parts of Europe in January.

The Munich-based insurer, Europe's biggest in terms of gross premiums, said preliminary first-quarter profit rose to 3.2 billion euros ($4.35 billion) from 1.8 billion euros a year earlier, beating the 2.39 billion euros ($3.25 billion) analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted.

The results were also helped by gains in investments.

Revenue, however, dipped 1% to 29.3 billion euros ($39.86 billion), less than the 29.45 billion euros ($40.07 billion) analysts had predicted.

The company released preliminary figures ahead of its annual shareholder meeting. A complete report is due May 8.

The company's operating profit gained 7% to 2.9 billion euros ($3.95 billion), beating estimates of 2.66 billion euros ($3.62 billion).

That figure included the 340 million euros ($462.6 million) in claims that were the result of the storm, dubbed Kyrill, that savaged Germany, Switzerland and other parts of Europe.

Shares of Allianz advanced more than 1.6% to 168.35 euros ($229.04) in Frankfurt.