Allianz surges by 29% in the Asia Pacific in 2007

3 March, 2008

Allianz has seen a very successful year in the Asia Pacific region in 2007. Total premium income from all Allianz insurance operations in the region reached $A14 billion1, an increase of 29.3 percent. Operating profit increased to $A1,070 million.* Allianz now has more than 18 million customers in Asia Pacific.

"Our strategy of profitable growth in Asia Pacific is paying off. We are determined to go on expanding consistently and continuously in all of our chosen markets, through strengthening our retail presence and following a multi-distribution approach. Our target is $A16 billion in premiums in Asia Pacific and to attain at least a top-five position in each market," commented Werner Zedelius, Member of Board of Allianz SE responsible for Growth Markets.

A well diversified portfolio

Performance was excellent in Allianz's two core growth markets, India and China. Premiums in India were up 72 percent and reached $A2,880 million. In China, premiums climbed to over $A480 million in 2007, an increase of 132 percent. Excluding these huge markets, premiums amounted to $A10.7 billion, representing growth of 19 percent. That demonstrates that all operations in the region showed superior performance and a healthy diversity of Allianz's portfolio in the region.

"We are happy and proud to see that India and China have reached a critical mass. Their stellar performance corresponds to their position as core growth markets of Allianz," said Bruce Bowers, Regional CEO of Allianz Asia Pacific. "At the same time, the other entities in Asia Pacific have performed equally well, matching the excellent results of the two core markets. This shows that the region is not just growing rapidly, but that we have also attained a well-diversified portfolio."

Property & Casualty Insurance

Revenues from Allianz's Asia Pacific Property & Casualty (P&C) business also grew markedly to nearly $A3.7 billion, an increase of 11.2 percent. Business in the region is dominated by Allianz Australia, which contributed roughly two-thirds of total premiums or about $A2.5 billion.

Nicholas Scofield, General Manager Corporate Affairs at Allianz Australia, said, "unlike many of the growth markets in which Allianz operates in the Asia Pacific region, Australia is a mature insurance market that generally grows in line with economic growth. Against that background, and a challenging market environment, Allianz Australia is pleased that it was able to achieve growth of 4 percent, which is well above market growth."

According to Mr Scofield, "Allianz Australia's above-market growth is largely the result of an impressive performance in our direct-to-customer business - our call centre operations (Phone: 13 1000) and our internet channel - which has been achieving growth rates of up to nearly 20% in recent years. This has helped us offset the more challenging environment in the broker-based, commercial insurance market over recent years."

Highest growth in P&C insurance was recorded in India, where Bajaj Allianz General collected almost $A640 million premiums (+36 percent). The company is number two in the private market in India and also Allianz's second largest P&C insurer in Asia Pacific.

Likewise, Allianz has attained a strong number two position in Malaysia after the successful acquisition of Commerce Assurance Berhad in 2007.

For 2007, the region-wide combined ratio remained unchanged at 96.3 percent.

Life insurance

Revenues from life insurance amounted to $A10.2 billion, rising by 37.1 percent. In India, the joint venture Bajaj Allianz Life is number two among the private life insurers, outgrowing its major competitors in 2007. Life insurance premiums almost doubled to $A2.24 billion (+86 percent). Bajaj Allianz Life now employs roughly 275,000 agents and has six million customers.

In China, premium volume of Allianz China Life reached $A460 million in 2007, an increase of 142 percent on 2006. By the end of 2007, the number of agents working for Allianz in China surpassed 10,000 for the first time.

The two largest life markets for Allianz in the region are Korea and Taiwan. Premiums of Allianz Life Korea grew by more than 6 percent to $A3.5 billion and operating profit was up to $A458 million, including a non-recurring reserve release of $A272 million booked in the Life/Health segment on Allianz Group level only. The underlying increase in operating profit was 92 percent.

Allianz Taiwan Life grew even by 53 percent to nearly $A2.9 billion in premiums. Operating profit almost doubled to around $A42 million. A significant development in 2007 was the buy-out of joint venture partner Uni-President Group. Allianz now holds almost 100 percent of Allianz Taiwan Life and fully benefits from the success of the company, which climbed up to number four on the Taiwanese life insurance market.

Optimistic outlook for 2008

Allianz is optimistic about the outlook for 2008. "We exceeded all our ambitious targets for 2007 and generated strong profitable growth in Asia Pacific. We are well positioned to move forward on this path. We expect double-digit growth once again in the top and bottom line in 2008. The contribution of the Asia Pacific region to revenues and profits of Allianz Group will continue to rise," Bruce Bowers concluded.

Nicholas Scofield added, "in Australia, Allianz expects to continue to outperform market growth in 2008. This will be underpinned by the continuing strong growth of our direct business and a more positive premium outlook across the board. In particular, the commercial insurance market appears to have bottomed and premiums are expected to begin to improve in 2008.

* Figures comprise all Allianz insurance companies in Asia Pacific, including those not consolidated under IFRS (India, Thailand). Growth figures are adjusted to F/X effects.

Media enquiries

Nicholas Scofield
Allianz Australia Insurance
Ph. +61 2 9390 6596
Ph. 0416 088 414
Dr. Christoph John
Allianz Group Asia Pacific

Allianz Australia

Best General Insurance Company 2006*
Best General Insurance Company 2007*

The Allianz Australia Group operates in Australia and New Zealand. It is one of Australia's largest general insurers, a leading private workers' compensation insurer, and more recently, a life insurer.

Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. AAL is proud to be of service to more than 2 million policy holders and over 50% of Australia's top 200 BRW listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group.

Allianz Australia offers a wide range of insurance products and services including car insurance, home insurance and Life insurance.

Insurance AwardAllianz Australia has approximately 3300 staff. In 2006, the company achieved a gross written premium exceeding AU$2.4 billion and investment assets of approximately AU$5.5 billion. Allianz Australia Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group, one of the world's largest financial services companies.

*Australian Banking and Finance Insurance Awards

1 Based on 1 Euro = $A1.60