Allianz profits hurt by natural disasters

Image caption, Allianz is Europe's biggest insurer

German insurer Allianz has reported a 46% drop in second-quarter net profit, after seeing an increase in costs related to natural disasters.

Allianz said claims from natural catastrophes hit 255m euros ($335m; £210m) in the April-June quarter.

Net profit fell to 1.16bn euros from 1.87bn euros last year, when results were boosted by asset sales.

However, operating profit jumped 23% to 2.2bn euros, and the firm maintained its outlook for the full year.

Allianz, which is Europe's biggest insurer, said it was confident it could achieve its full-year operating profit target of about 7.2bn euros.

"Our quarterly operating profit growth shows progress in terms of underwriting, claims management and productivity," Oliver Bate, Allianz chief financial officer said.

The company said that the first half had been marked by "exceptionally high natural catastrophe losses".

In February, winter storm Xynthia hit Europe, while Chile was rocked by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake.

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