Pimco's Momentum Helps Parent Allianz Beat Profit Estimates

(Bloomberg) -- Even after outflows hit Pimco in the last quarter, Allianz SE’s giant bond fund unit is on a roll.

In an industry plagued by ever-shrinking margins, Pacific Investment Management Co. and its smaller sibling Allianz Global Investors managed to improve profitability in the second quarter, helping their Munich-based owner post a profit that beat estimates.

Investment managers have been battling falling fees and underperformance following the rise of cheaper passive-investment strategies. However active managers have been trying to lure back investors lately as market volatility rises and creates more trading opportunities. While Allianz’s investment units suffered a net 9.2 billion euros ($10.7 billion) of outflows in the quarter, the company said the trend started to reverse later in the period.

“The operating performance of Pimco is very strong,” Allianz Chief Financial Officer Giulio Terzariol said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “Pimco inflows are getting back to positive right now.”

Allianz’s group operating profit grew to 3 billion euros, the company said in a statement on Friday. Much of the gain was driven by an 11.6 percent increase in operating earnings at the asset management unit, which reported higher margins and assets and a lower cost-to-income ratio. On the insurance side, Allianz saw flat to declining profit in its two main businesses, property & casualty and life and health.

"This as a broadly neutral set of results,” analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, including Johnny Vo, wrote in a note to clients. "The group’s key business continues to demonstrate robust operating performance and solvency remains comfortably above the upper-end of the group’s target range."

Allianz was little changed in Frankfurt trading at 186.06 euros as of 9:08 a.m. The stock has declined 2.8 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 80 billion euros.

The operating result beat the average estimate of 2.89 billion euros from eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Net income fell 5.2 percent to 1.9 billion euros following the sale of a life portfolio in Taiwan.

The gains help keep Allianz on track to meet its full-year earnings targets, Europe’s biggest insurer said. The company is targeting full-year operating profit of 11.1 billion euros plus or minus 500 million euros.

AUM at Allianz’s asset management unit rose to a record of almost 2 trillion euros and was mainly driven by favorable foreign currency effects, the company said.

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