Allianz says net profit doubled in 2012

German insurance giant Allianz said Thursday its net profit more than doubled last year as it shrugged off the worst of the financial crisis.

Allianz said in a statement its net profit amounted to 5.169 billion euros ($6.8 billion) last year, up from 2.545 billion euros a year earlier.

The 2011 figure had been impacted by writedowns on Allianz's holdings in Greek sovereign debt and investments, the insurer explained.

But underlying or operating profit also increased, rising by 20.8 percent to 9.5 billion euros on a 2.7-percent rise in revenues to 106.4 billion euros.

All divisions achieved double-digit percentage growth in operating profit, Allianz said.

Chief executive Michael Diekmann noted that the numbers exceeded the group's forecast, which Allianz had already raised last year after a better-than-expected performance in the first three quarters.

"Despite the impact from the storm Sandy, we exceeded our forecast," Diekmann said.

"Our results show how well our business model can handle the various turbulences from the financial crisis."

Allianz would therefore pay an unchanged dividend of 4.50 euros per share for 2012, he said.

Looking ahead to the current year, Diekmann said that despite the low interest rate environment and overall global economic uncertainty, "I am confident that again in 2013 Allianz will maintain its profitability.

"With cautious optimism and assuming that natural catastrophes and capital market turbulence do not exceed expected levels, our operating profit outlook for 2013 is 9.2 billion euros, plus or minus 500 million euros," Diekmann said.