Fewer disasters, higher premiums boosted insurer's profit in first quarter

Fewer natural disasters and higher prices in key markets of Germany, Turkey and Latin America have helped profits at German insurance company Allianz SE during the first quarter.

But Allianz isn't increasing its profit outlook, saying Wednesday that record low interest rates will hold back profits — while the low level of catastrophes could change.

Munich-based Allianz stayed with its forecast for 9.2 billion euros in earnings, plus or minus 500 million euros, saying "we forecast insurance profits will remain under pressure" from low yields and financial market volatility. Insurers must invest premium income in predictable investments such as bonds that are currently carrying low yields.

The company already reported on May 7 that net profit had increased 24 percent to 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion). Revenues rose 6.6 percent to 32.0 billion euros.