Allianz, Europe's largest insurer, said Thursday it achieved "very good results" in 2014 and was cautiously optimistic for the current year, despite a difficult market environment.
"We expect the economic environment to remain challenging in 2015. Our current operating profit outlook for 2015 is 10.4 billion euros ($11.8 billion), plus or minus 400 million euros," said chief executive Michael Diekmann.
Allianz, like the rest of the insurance sector, is feeling the pinch from the current very low level of interest rates in the euro area, which weighs on its margins.
"Geopolitical tensions, continued market volatility and a further decline in interest rates in 2014 led to lower global economic growth than expected," Diekmann said.
"Despite these challenges, Allianz achieved very good results in revenues, operating profit and net income."
Bottom-line net profit increased by 3.8 percent to 6.22 billion euros in 2014.
Underlying or operating profit was up 3.3 percent at 10.4 billion euros on a 10.4-increase in revenues to 122.25 billion euros.
Allianz said it would pay shareholders an increased dividend of 6.85 euros per share for 2014, up from 5.30 euros for 2013.
"The revised dividend policy reflects our successful efforts to prepare Allianz for the future," CEO Diekmann said.