German insurance group Allianz has reaffirmed its operating profit target for 2017 after reporting rising investment inflows at its asset-management business. 

This comes against the backdrop of a sector facing challenges including increased regulation, competition from fintech start-ups and questions surrounding Britain's exit from the European Union. 

In a first-quarter earnings report, Allianz said it was continuing to target operating profit of €10.8 billion - give or take €500m. 

"Allianz saw a good start into 2017 with results putting the group on track to meet its operating profit target for the full year," the company's chief financial officer Dieter Wemmer said. 

The company's asset-management business, which includes bond fund manager PIMCO, was boosted in the first quarter by net investment inflows of €21 billion, lifting assets under management by 3%.

Allianz's property and casualty business took a hit from heavy storm claims and a British regulatory change that increases personal injury payouts from car accidents, pushing down its operating profit by 12.7% to €1.3 billion.

The company also reported what Wemmer described as a "strong" Solvency II ratio, a broad measure of an insurer's financial health. 

The ratio was 218% at the end of 2016 and 212% at the end of the first quarter of this year, which Wemmer said is well within Allianz's target of 180-220%.