FRANKFURT - German insurer Allianz said on Friday third-quarter net profit surged 24 percent from a year earlier and confirmed it was poised to meet its 2018 profit target.
Net profit attributable to shareholders came in at 1.936 billion euros ($2.20 billion), higher than 1.877 billion euros forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll, and up from 1.566 billion euros a year ago.
Chief Executive Oliver Baete said the company had performed strongly across the board so far this year and productivity gains were substantial.
"We are very confident to reach our targets also for this year," Baete said.
The insurer confirmed its 2018 target for operating profit of 11.1 billion euros, give or take 500 million euros.
Companies in the insurance sector, including Allianz, are expected to bounce back from losses incurred by hurricanes, fires and earthquakes in North America in 2017 - the industry's costliest year ever.
The company is conducting a strategy review of its property and casualty business. Executives have said the review would not result in a major shake-up.
Allianz's combined ratio in its property and casualty division, a key measure of profitability, was 93.1 percent in the third quarter, down from 96.9 percent a year ago. Readings below 100 indicate profitability.
Lower losses from natural catastrophes and decreased expenses were behind the decline, the company said.
($1 = 0.8813 euros)
(Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Thomas Seythal and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)