Allianz Group achieved outstanding results in revenues, operating profit and net income in 2019 despite a further decline in interest rates. Internal revenue growth, which adjusts for currency and consolidation effects, amounted to 5.9 percent, driven by all business segments. Total revenues increased by 7.6 percent to 142.4 (2018: 132.3) billion euros. Operating profit grew 3.0 percent to 11.9 (11.5) billion euros and is in the upper half of the Group’s announced target range of 11.0 to 12.0 billion euros. Operating profit growth was mostly driven by our Life/Health business segment due to a higher investment margin, a positive one-off profit in the United States, and volume growth. Our Asset Management business segment also reported a strong increase in operating profit due to higher average third-party assets under management (AuM) and positive foreign currency translation effects. Our Property-Casualty business segment was negatively impacted by lower run-off, due to a strengthening of reserves at AGCS, and lower operating investment income. This was partly compensated by the improved expense ratio. Net income attributable to shareholders grew 6.1 percent to 7.9 (7.5) billion euros mostly due to the increased operating profit and improved non-operating result, as well as a lower tax rate.
Basic Earnings per Share (EPS) increased 8.4 percent in 2019 to a record 18.90 (17.43) euros. Return on Equity (RoE) grew to 13.6 percent (13.2 percent), the highest level of the last ten years. The Solvency II capitalization ratio amounted to 212 percent at end-2019, compared to 229 percent at end-2018. The Board of Management will propose a dividend of 9.60 euros per share for 2019. This is 6.7 percent higher than last year’s dividend of 9 euros and the seventh increase in a row.
Allianz completed its fourth share buy-back program on July 30, 2019, with a total volume of 1.5 billion euros and 7.3 million shares. All repurchased shares have been cancelled. On February 20, 2020, Allianz has announced a new share buy-back program of up to 1.5 billion euros that is to be completed by the end of the year.
70 percent of businesses worldwide achieved a Net Promoter Score (NPS) above market average compared to 74 percent in the previous year. The Inclusive Meritocracy Index (IMIX), which measures leadership and performance culture, was at an all-time high of 73 percent in 2019.
”2019 was another successful year with record results for the Allianz Group. This reflects the trust of customers and shareholders and the engagement of our excellent people. Allianz continued to make important strategic strides in 2019 like our acquisitions in the UK and Brazil and being awarded the first fully foreign-owned insurance holding in China. We also contribute to society: As one of the initiators of the newly launched UN-convened Asset Owner Alliance we committed to transition our own investment portfolios to net-zero by 2050,” said Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer of Allianz SE.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, operating profit amounted to 2.8 (2.8) billion euros. Reserve strengthening at AGCS led to a lower operating profit from our Property-Casualty business segment, which was mostly offset by an increase in our Life/Health and Asset Management business segments. Our Life/Health business segment operating profit increased mostly as a result of an improved investment margin. The strong increase in operating profit from our Asset Management business segment was mainly attributable to a rise in assets under management (AuM) driven revenues and performance fees. Net income attributable to shareholders grew 9.5 percent to 1.9 (1.7) billion euros in the fourth quarter of 2019 due to an improved non-operating result.
“Allianz had a successful financial year 2019, with operating profit of 11.9 billion euros in the upper half of the Group’s announced operating profit target range,” said Giulio Terzariol, Chief Financial Officer of Allianz SE. “Active risk management led to a strong Solvency II capitalization ratio of 212 percent, showing the Group’s resilience in today’s negative interest rate environment and providing a safe haven to our customers and shareholders. We look to generate 12 billion euros in operating profit in 2020, plus or minus 500 million euros – barring unforeseen events, crises or natural catastrophes.”