Allianz first-quarter sales decline due to life insurance ops

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Allianz's ALVG.DE sales decline by 6.4 percent in the first quarter was mainly due to changes it made to its life insurance operations, Chief Executive Oliver Baete told shareholders gathered for the insurer's annual meeting on Wednesday.

“We have completely refocused our life insurance business,” he said on Wednesday, adding that this would produce “positive effects”.

In the current low interest rate environment insurers are grappling to generate the returns that they have promised to pay out on life insurance products.

Allianz has therefore sought to sell fewer policies with life-long guaranteed returns and is instead focusing on more flexible products for which it has to reserve less capital.

On Monday, Allianz posted a 3.5 percent decline of first-quarter operating profit, without specifying the reason for the drop. Net income jumped 21 percent due to one-off effects.

Reporting by Alexander Hübner; Writing by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Ludwig Burger