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Allianz beats quarterly profit expectations, posts rosier 2022 outlook

FILE PHOTO: The logo of insurer Allianz SE is seen on the company building in Puteaux at the financial and business district of La Defense near Paris

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -German insurer Allianz on Wednesday posted a better-than-expected 17% rise in third-quarter net profit, helped by strength at its property and casualty division, and gave a more optimistic full-year outlook.

Net profit attributable to shareholders was 2.464 billion euros ($2.47 billion) in the quarter compared to 2.111 billion euros a year earlier. The figure surpassed a 2.320 billion euro consensus forecast.

Allianz has been trying to return to business as usual after its U.S. funds unit was dogged with a fraud case that resulted in a $6 billion settlement U.S. authorities in May.

The matter cast a shadow over Allianz, one of Germany's most valuable companies. It is also one of the world's biggest money managers through bond giant Pimco and its Allianz Global Investors, which managed the funds at the centre of the probes.

Germany's financial watchdog BaFin has called on Allianz to improve its internal controls in its wake.

Chief Executive Officer Oliver Baete said the quarterly results prove the company's resilience "amid a dramatic geopolitical and market environment".

Revenues at the property and casualty division rose 14% in the quarter from a year earlier, compensating for declines in its life and health divisions and asset management.

Allianz said operating profit in 2022 would be in the upper half of its previously stated range of 12.4 billion euros to 14.4 billion euros. The "upper half" is new guidance and rosier than before.

Separately, the company announced a 1 billion euro share buyback programme, which would start in the middle of November and conclude by the end of next year at the latest.

($1 = 0.9995 euros)

(Reporting by Tom Sims, Alexander Huebner, Thomas Escritt; Editing by Chris Reese and Josie Kao)