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Allianz posts big rise in profit after year-earlier charge

FILE PHOTO: The logo of insurer Allianz SE is seen on the company building in Puteaux at the financial and business district of La Defense near Paris

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Germany's Allianz on Friday posted a big rise in first-quarter net profit, rebounding after taking charges a year ago for a U.S. funds scandal.

The quarterly jump in profit of 329% fell short of analyst expectations, however, and was damped in part by weakness in Allianz's asset management division, which saw lower revenues and operating profit.

For the group as a whole, net profit attributable to shareholders was 2.032 billion euros ($2.24 billion) in the three months through March, compared with 474 million euros a year earlier. The figure fell short of a 2.327 billion euro consensus forecast.

The boost in profit - most pronounced in its property and casualty division - marked a return to business as usual for Allianz, which has been trying to restore its reputation after one of its funds units, Allianz Global Investors, was dogged with a fraud case in the United States that resulted in $6 billion in settlements and fines last year.

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"We can be proud of our operating profit and bottom line," Chief Executive Officer Oliver Baete said.

($1 = 0.9084 euros)

(Reporting by Tom Sims and Alexander Huebner, Editing by Friederike Heine)