Generali Announces 2014 First-Half Year Results
In the first half of the year, Generali has continued to implement its strategic actions aimed at strengthening the Group’s capital position and improving the profitability of the business. In an ongoing uncertain economic environment in Europe with low interest rates, the effective execution of this strategy has enabled Generali to achieve an operating result in excess of ?2.5 billion (+9.5%; ?2.3 bln 1H13). The operating result showed an excellent performance in particular in the second quarter, with an increase of 20.4% compared to the same period in 2013.
The net income amounted to ?1,075 million and was stable compared to the first half of 2013 (?1,081 mln 1H13). The comparison is affected by the one-off effects from discontinued operations recorded during the period, in particular BSI for ?113 million. Net income after tax from continuing operations showed an increase of 12.5% driven by the development of the operating result. The non-operating result amounted to ?-653 million (?-604 million 1H13), mainly due to net impairment losses, partially offset by higher realized gains.
In the Life segment, the operating result increased to more than ?1.5 billion (+4.8%), thanks to cost containment and positive financial management. Premiums grew by 5.4% to ?24.2 billion driven by the product portfolio strategies implemented by the Group and its geographical diversity. There was a significant increase in linked products (+31.3%) and in Italy (+27.4%), benefitting production.
New business in terms of Annual Premium Equivalent (APE) also evidenced an increase (+8.6%) to over ?2.5 billion. As a result of higher volumes and improved profitability, the New Business Value (NBV) grew by 43% to ?651 million.
In the Property & Casualty segment, the operating result maintained strong momentum over the half year to deliver a 14.8% growth to over ?1 billion, led by excellent technical profitability. The combined ratio (CoR) further improved to 92.8% (-1.8 pps) as result of lower costs and a significant improvement in the loss ratio. Premiums remained broadly stable at ?11.2 billion (-0.7%) despite the challenging economic environment in several markets.
In the Financial segment, the operating result increased by 15.8% to ?226 million driven by the positive performance of Banca Generali (+31%).
During the period, the strengthening of the capital position resulted in a Solvency I ratio at 162% (+21 pps from 2013 year-end), with a surplus of ?11.2 billion. On a pro forma basis, taking in account the sale of Bsi and the acquisition of the remaining 24% of GPH, the Solvency I ratio reaches 164%. Generali has already surpassed, more than a year in advance, the 2015 capital target.
The shareholders equity of the Group amounted to ?22.1 billion (+11.9%) compared to ?19.8 billion at December 31, 2013, substantially benefitting from the positive economic results of the period and the favourable performance of financial markets, which have contributed to an increase of the reserve for unrealized gains and losses on available for sale financial investments.
The Generali Group CEO, Mario Greco, commented: “These results show that we are quickly moving towards achieving our targets ahead of plan. We have reached our Solvency I and net free surplus targets, and our operating RoE is within sight. Moreover, we have concluded our non-core asset disposal process and rebuilt our capital position to a level that allows us to reactivate the growth of the Group. The numbers we report today are the direct result of the initiatives we have launched in the past twelve months to develop innovative products to attract new customers and grow our presence in new markets. I would like to thank all colleagues for their hard work in making these results possible. It is thanks to them we are in sight of completing an extremely challenging and complex turnaround. We are now entering a new phase for our Group: for the very first time after many years, Generali is growing its market share, delivering growth in profits and providing good returns for shareholders”.