Oliver Bäte, chief executive of German insurance group Allianz.
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Germany’s Allianz on Friday swung to a fourth-quarter net profit, marking a return to the black after taking big charges a year earlier for a U.S. funds scandal.
The fourth quarter was helped by strength at its life and health insurance business due to a higher investment margin, Allianz said, while its asset management division saw lower revenues and fees.
Net profit attributable to shareholders of 2.007 billion euros ($2.13 billion) in the three months through December compares with a loss of 292 million euros a year earlier. Analysts had expected a net profit of 2.034 billion euros.
“We just run a very, very good company,” Allianz CEO Oliver Bäte told CNBC on “Squawk Box Europe” Friday.
“The key message is the very strong companies that have used Covid to prepare themselves for a much tougher world are going to be the winners here and there will be lots that won’t.”
Bäte also highlighted that the interest rate environment is “really good” for the bank and that Allianz would be making the most of that.
The return to profit from a year earlier marked a return to business as usual for Allianz, which has been trying to restore its reputation after its U.S. funds unit was dogged with a fraud case that resulted in a $6 billion settlement with U.S. authorities in May.
Bäte shared a positive outlook for 2023, saying that January had already seen positive flows into Pimco and other actively managed funds. However, he also highlighted the volatility in the market.
“There’s a lot of insecurity around what policymakers will do, what politics will do, what underlying inflation will do. We have to be careful. The key thing is to really make sure that productivity goes up, that we reign in on our cost side and that we make the services outstanding,” he said.
The Allianz CEO told CNBC last year that the market environment was “one of the worst … you can imagine.”
Shares of Allianz were down 3.2% as European markets opened Friday, with most stocks trading in negative territory after a week of inflation data and earnings reports.
— CNBC contributed to this report.
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