FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German insurer Allianz SE on Tuesday posted a small rise in net profit in the first quarter from a year earlier, marginally ahead of expectations, and confirmed its targets for 2019.
Results were helped by lower claims from natural catastrophes, though the group's asset management division - which includes Pimco - faced the drag of high expenses due to investments, the company said in a statement.
Net profit attributable to shareholders rose to 1.969 billion euros ($2.21 billion) from 1.939 billion euros a year ago. A Reuters poll of analysts had forecast 1.908 billion euro profit.
Revenue rose 9.1% to 40.3 billion euros from a year earlier, the Munich-based insurer said.
The results put Allianz "on track" to meet its targets for the full year, Chief Executive Oliver Baete said.
For 2019, Allianz confirmed it was aiming for operating profit of 11.5 billion euros, plus or minus 500 million euros. In 2019, Allianz earned 11.5 billion euros.
Allianz's combined ratio in its property and casualty division, a key measure of profitability, was 93.7% in the first quarter, an improvement of 1.1 percentage points from a year earlier. Readings below 100 indicate profitability.
($1 = 0.8898 euros)
(Reporting by Tom Sims; editing by Thomas Seythal and Rashmi Aich)