Allianz: Goals Uncertain in Wake of Crisis

Europe's biggest insurer Allianz unveiled writedowns from the global financial crisis of 900 million euros ($1.4 billion) in the first quarter and said the turmoil could endanger its medium-term goals.

The markdowns stemming the insurer's embattled Dresdner Bank are more than double those announced by Allianz finance chief Helmut Perlet at the beginning of the year.

The latest writedowns bring Dresdner Bank's overall bill from the global market turmoil to about 2.5 billion.

Allianz said its medium-term targets, while still feasible, would become harder to reach the longer the financial crisis lasts.

The insurer has said it aims to increase operating profit by an average 10 percent in 2008 and 2009.

In February, it reported record net profit of nearly 8 billion euros for 2007.

The Munich-based group said its net profit in the first three months of the year came to about 1.1 billion euros, and its operating profit to 1.8 billion.

Allianz is now planning to break up Dresdner Bank in a move that would pave the way for a sale of investment banking laggard Dresdner Kleinwort, which is partly behind the problems that resulted in the writedowns.

Allianz shares, which have lost nearly 12 percent since the start of the year, were seen opening about 1 percent lower in Frankfurt.

"The higher-than-expected writedowns at Dresdner Bank and the uncertainties over the outlook will weigh on the share," said Heino Ruland, market analyst at FrankfurtFinanz.