* Now sees 2019 operating profit of at least 11.5 bln euros
* Investment result, lower tax rate help quarterly results (Updates with results details, CEO comment)
FRANKFURT, Nov 8 (Reuters) - German insurer Allianz on Friday posted a better-than-expected 0.6% rise in third-quarter net profit, helped by investment result and a lower tax rate, and said 2019 operating profit would be in the upper half of its targeted range.
Net profit attributable to shareholders of 1.95 billion euros ($2.16 billion) compares with a forecast of 1.84 billion euro by analysts in a Refinitiv poll and is up from 1.94 billion euros a year earlier.
“We are ready to reach the upper half of our operating profit outlook despite a significant increase in external challenges,” Chief Executive Officer Oliver Baete said.
For 2019, Allianz had been aiming for operating profit of 11.5 billion euros, plus or minus 500 million euros. It now expects operating profit of between 11.5 billion euros and 12 billion euros.
Allianz’s combined ratio in its property and casualty division, a key measure of profitability, was 94.3% in the third quarter, up 1.2 percentage points from a year earlier. Readings below 100 indicate profitability. ($1 = 0.9048 euros) (Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Subhranshu Sahu)