A few weeks ago, during carnival week, many employees of Allianz, the world’s biggest insurer, were walking around with blue teeth. The company had handed its employees doughnuts featuring the corporate logo in blue icing to mark its 125th anniversary. It tasted great but the color came off.
The staff are unlikely to have minded because Allianz has reason to celebrate. The company has never been in better shape. Last year it generated revenue of €122.3 billion, or $136 billion, a 10 percent rise over 2013, and raised its operating profit by three percent to €10.4 billion, which was at the upper end of the range that outgoing Chief Executive Michael Diekmann had forecast. Net profit came to €6.2 billion, and the dividend was lifted to €6.85 per share from €5.30.
It was the first time in Allianz’s long history that revenue exceeded €120 billion. Mr. Diekmann, 60, who will step down at Wednesday’s annual general meeting after 12 years at the helm, said his aim hadn’t been to achieve records but to produce a “result that is solid overall.”