Europe's leading insurance company Allianz has said it plans to be "climate-neutral" by 2050

Berlin (AFP) - German insurer Allianz said Tuesday it is on track to meet its forecasts for 2019 after publishing improved first-quarter figures.

“Allianz achieved strong results in the first quarter putting the group on track to meet its 2019 full-year targets,” doing so “despite economic and political volatility”, chief executive Oliver Baete said in a statement.

The net income of the Munich-based group increased by 1.6 percent to 1.97 billion euros ($2.22 million) while its asset management division saw its operating performance decline due to investments for growth.

Sales rose by 9.1 percent to 40.3 billion euros, driven mainly by the life and health insurance segment which grew by nearly 13 percent to 19.3 billion euros, in line with the property and casualty segment, whose sales grew half as fast to 19.5 billion euros.

Operating profit was up 7.5 percent year-on-year to 2.96 billion euros, thanks partly to a 14-percent increase in the property-casualty segment.

Europe’s leading insurance company had to reimburse 141 million euros in the quarter, 170 million less than in the same quarter last year, “with fewer losses from natural catastrophes and improvements in our expense ratio”, said the Allianz statement.

The insurer is targeting an operating profit of 11.5 billion euros for the 2019, with a margin of 500 million euros up or down depending on events, crises or natural disasters.

The German insurance giant has also said it plans to go green.

Last week, Baete told shareholders at the group’s annual general meeting that Allianz aims to make its business “climate-neutral” by 2050.

The commitment means that Allianz will no longer invest in shares or bonds issued by companies whose activity is harmful to the climate.