German insurance giant Allianz saw the top and bottom lines in its property and casualty division climb in the first quarter despite taking a EUR220mn ($262.3mn) hit from European storm Friederike.

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Gross written premiums for the quarter increased by 1.1 percent to EUR17.9bn during the first three months of the year.

Meanwhile, despite storm losses, the combined ratio slimmed by 0.8 percentage points to 94.8 percent.

The improved combined ratio helped the carrier deliver an operating profit of EUR1.3bn at its P&C arm.

Allianz said the 1.2 percent increase on the same period last year was down to an improvement in underwriting, although that was partly offset by lower investment income.

The insurer said its underwriting result improved due to a general improvement in the underlying loss ratio, lower claims from large losses, as well as better run-off performance and expense ratios.

“Premium income rose and the combined ratio improved in the quarter, underscoring the health of our property and casualty business,” Allianz CFO Giulio Terzariol.

“Our underwriting result strengthened due to disciplined efforts to improve technical excellence and productivity.

“We remain on track to meet our target of 94 percent in the combined ratio.”

At a group level Allianz reported an operating profit that dipped by 6 percent to EUR2.8bn. The German insurer said the bulk of the decrease was due to foreign currency translations.

“Operating performance for the quarter is precisely at 25 percent of the group’s full-year operating profit target, signaling that results are well on track,” it said.