The company said net income rose from E846 million in 2004 to E1.49 billion in Q2 2005, largely due to success in its life insurance and asset management operations. Allianz's life insurance business achieved double-digit growth rates, as gains in equities over the past two years have led to an increased demand for life insurance products, particularly those related to retirement provision and wealth accumulation. German tax changes at the end of last year also helped to boost sales as it made investments in savings plans more appealing. Allianz added that the combined ratio continued to improve in the property and casualty unit, jumping from 92.1% in the first quarter to 89.8% in the second quarter. The company posted a weak result in the trading services of its banking business, but said this was offset by cost reduction and a favorable development in loan loss provisions.