Allianz's Italian insurer Ras has increased its net profit by over a quarter in fiscal 2005, thanks to strong growth in life insurance business at home in Italy.

2005 consolidated net profit was E905 million, up 27.9% from E708 million in 2004, while consolidated premiums were E16.4 billion, an improvement of 1.6% from E16.1 billion in 2004. Return on equity rose from 12.4% to 14.6%; return on risk-adjusted capital reached 24.4%, from 20.7% in 2004.

The company said it experienced very strong growth in new life insurance business in Italy, with a significant increase in recurring premiums (24.4%). Across the company life gross premiums written, inclusive of investment contracts, climbed 1.1% to E8.9 billion.

Property and casualty gross premiums written were E7.5 billion, a 2.3% increase on 2004. Meanwhile Ras enjoyed a marked improvement in the combined ratio of its domestic operations (from 98.3% to 97.3%), giving an overall combined ratio of 97.3%.

Ras expects to issue an ordinary share dividend of E0.88, a 10% increase over 2004, and a savings share dividend of E0.90.