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Consolidated results at 30 June 2011

Continued improvement in Generali’s operational performance. Operating result at more than € 2.4 bln (+12.7%1), driven by the Non-Life business segment (+36.3%)

Net profit of € 806 mln (€ 873 mln in 1H10) after non-recurring net impairment losses of € 283 mln on Greek bonds and the equity investment in Telco

  • Non-Life operating result of € 799 mln (+36.3%); combined ratio improves by 2.3 p.p. to 96.5% (98.8% in 1H10), with increased contribution from the Motor segment
  • Life operating result of € 1.7 bln (+6.1%), driven by rising technical and financial margins
  • Financial segment operating result of € 211 mln (+3.8%), driven by growth in private banking in the Asian business
  • Non-Life premiums increase to € 12 bln (+2%), due to the progress made in the motor and retail lines
  • Life premiums at € 23.8 bln (-9.5%). A focus on higher profitability products with growth in annual premiums (+4.5%). Life New Business Value (NBV) up to € 525 mln (+7.3% on a like-for-like basis) with margins improving to 20.9% (17.8% in 1H10)

Generali Group CEO Giovanni Perissinotto said: “Once again Generali has demonstrated its solidity and the ability to increase its operational performance even in periods of high market tension and volatility. Furthermore, in this difficult economic and financial climate, the diversification and solidity of our investments enabled the Group to keep its shareholders’ equity stable. We continue our strategy of expansion in markets with high growth potential and our focus on efficiency improvements in the core European countries. Following the positive evidence shown by all our business lines as of today, we are confident that we will reach our full-year target of an operating result of between €4-4.7 billion."

Milan – At a meeting today chaired by Gabriele Galateri di Genola, the Board of Directors of Assicurazioni Generali approved the consolidated results as at 30 June 2011.

In a first half marked by severe market pressures as a result of worsening sovereign debt risk in a number of countries with high public debt, the Generali Group achieved an impressive operating performance, driven by an excellent Non-Life result and the best half-year Life result for the last four years benefiting from rising technical and financial margins. A positive contribution also came from the financial segment, supported in particular by sound results from the growth in private banking. The total operating result at 30 June of € 2.4 billion (+12.7%) also reflected a stronger pace of growth in the second quarter, with robust progress in Italy, France and Eastern Europe.

The impetus provided by the operating result helped the Group achieve a high net profit of € 806 million (-7.7%; € 873 million in 1H10), despite the net impact of non-recurring impairment losses, stemming in particular from Greek government securities (€ 140 million) and the equity investment in Telco (€ 143 million).

Specifically, after the recent proposal for the sovereign debt restructuring in Greece, the Group decided to recognise an impairment loss on the Greek government securities maturing by 2020 (more than 70% of overall exposure in Greek bonds). The average loss, determined on the basis of financial market prices at 30 June, was approximately 47% of the securities’ value. For the equity investment in Telco, a holding company that owns 22.4% of Telecom Italia, the impairment loss was determined on an implicit Telecom Italia per share value of € 1.8. Excluding these non-recurring items, net profit would have risen by 24.7% to € 1.089 million.

Looking at our operating performance, the result in the Non-Life segment rose by 36.3%, reflecting high technical profitability. The combined ratio improved by 2.3 percentage points to 96.5% (98.8% in 1H10), thanks to a decrease in the loss ratio especially in Italy, Eastern Europe and Spain, and to action to contain holding expenses.

The operating result remained high in the Life segment at almost € 1.7 billion, an improvement of 6.1% driven in particular by investment management, stronger technical margins and control of expenditure. The Life segment reported growth on almost all Group markets, with good progress in France. The operating result in the financial segment also improved (+3.8%), thanks in particular to the healthy results generated by the international growth of BSI.

Total operating result by geographical region
€ mln 30/06/2011     30/06/2010     Δ
Italy 996 932 +6.9%
France 454 344 +32.0%
Germany 321 364 -11.9%
CEE 256 216 +18.5%
Total operating result* 2,408 2,136 +12.7%
* Including holding expenses and consolidation adjustments

On the production front, overall gross premiums amounted to € 35,853 million (-6%; € 38,129 million 1H10), recovering from the first quarter of the year (-8.3%). The premium trend was attributable to the Life segment (-9.5%), after the reduction in single premiums as part of the Group strategy favouring products with higher margins and a better return on invested capital. Annual premiums, on the contrary, rose +4.5%.

The improved production mix led to an increase in Life New Business Value (NBV) to € 525 million (+7.3% on a like-for-like basis) with higher margins. The New Business Margin (NBM) rose to 20.9% from 17.8% in the first half of 2010 and 19.7% at the end of 2010.

The first half confirmed the growth as from the second half of 2010 in Non-Life premiums, which reached € 12,011 million (+2%). This reflected progress in the Motor business (+2.5%) in Italy, France and Germany, and an acceleration in the Non-Motor lines, which reported an improvement of 1.4% thanks to the retail business.

The Group maintained a solid capital position in the first half, with shareholders' equity substantially stable at € 17,231 million (-1.5%; € 17,490 million at the end of 2010). The Solvency I ratio rose to 134% (132% at the end of 2010). In the first half the Group reported an increase in Embedded Value from € 26,968 million at the end of 2010 to € 27,983 million in the first half, driven by the improvement in the combined ratio and Life NBV. Normalised RoEV was 12%.

OUTLOOK

Considering the current financial and macroeconomic scenario, the Life segment expects to report a good quality of net inflows, although amounts will be lower than in 2010. Group underwriting will continue to prefer products with lower capital absorption and higher returns in terms of NBV, in order to confirm/improve new business technical margins, assisted by the cost-cutting policy.

For the Non-Life lines, the Group expects to confirm its 2010 premium growth rates, arising not only from Non-Motor business performance but also from the upturn in the Motor business. Should catastrophic events remain at a physiological level, overall technical margins are expected to improve as current operating efficiency levels are maintained and the effects of the Group’s tariff and claims management policies continue.

Financial and real estate investment policy will continue to be based on prudent asset allocation aimed at consolidating current margins and reducing capital absorption.

Based on this scenario, Group operating margins are expected to improve in both the Life and the Non-Life segment.

LIFE SEGMENT

New Life production
€ mln APE NBV APE Margins
  30/06/2011 Δ* 30/06/2011 Δ* 30/06/2011
Italy 863 +0.3% 180 +29.4% 20.9%
France 532 -20.7% 75 +6.9% 14.1%
Germany 488 -6.3% 84 +3.2% 17.3%
CEE 81 -1.5% 25 -15.0% 31.1%
Total 2,513 -9.4% 525 +7.3% 20.9%
* Δ on a like-for-like basis

New business in terms of APE remained high at € 2,513 million, although the amount was lower  (-9.4% on a like-for-like basis; € 2,784 million in 1H10) as a result of the planned reduction to support underwriting of products with lower capital absorption and higher margins. The downturn eased compared with the first quarter of the year, when the reduction was 14.5% on a like-for-like basis.

For the half year, performance was attributable to the reduction in single premiums (-23.9% on a like-for-like basis), while annual premiums rose by 2.9% on a like-for-like basis. The decrease in single premiums was particularly marked in France and Ireland, where extraordinary growth was reported in 2010. In Italy, there was significant progress in new business for annual premiums (+12.3%).

Life net technical reserves rose by 1.7% to € 318,638 million (€ 313,348 million at the end of 2010) with a positive contribution both from traditional business and from unit-linked products.

NON-LIFE SEGMENT

Gross written premiums rose to € 12,011 million (+2.0%; € 11,778 million in 1H10). This reflected growth in the Motor and Non-Motor segments in all business lines, with the exception of the Corporate segment, which was more greatly affected by the difficult macroeconomic situation. Growth was reported in all the main markets, especially France (+2.6%), Germany (+1.5%) and Eastern Europe (+1.4%). Italy’s contribution was stable (+0.1%), with growth in the Motor business (+3.1%).

Combined Ratio
  30/06/2011 30/06/2010 Δ
Italy 97.2% 99.5% -2.3 p.p.
France 98.5% 99.8% -1.3 p.p.
Germany 95.3% 95.9% -0.6 p.p.
CEE 88.2% 92.9% -4.7 p.p.
Total 96.5% 98.8% -2.3 p.p.

Technical margins showed a positive trend in the combined ratio in all the main Group markets with the loss ratio down by 2 percentage points to 68.9%, thanks to the improvement in Italy, France and Germany stemming from the Motor segment and in Eastern Europe from the lower impact of natural catastrophes. The expense ratio was down by 0.3 percentage points to 27.6% with an overall reduction in administrative and acquisition costs, especially in France and Germany.

Non-Life technical reserves rose to € 31,183 million (+3.1%; € 30,236 million at the end of 2010).

FINANCIAL SERVICES

The operating result in financial services rose to € 211 million (+3.8%), thanks to the progress achieved by the BSI Group, which reported a 24.6% improvement in its operating result, partly showing the first benefits of the development plans in Asia.

Generali Group third-party assets under management totalled € 92 billion, an increase of 1.4% on a like-for-like basis from the end of 2010.

The improvement in the operating result was driven by the net investment result, defined as the intermediation margin net of net losses arising form the valuation of financial instruments. Specifically, there was an improvement in the intermediation margin (the sum of net commissions, net interest income and other financial components). The increase was generated by higher net commissions, thanks in particular to the rise in third-party assets under management (+2.8% from 1H10), and the improvement in net interest margin, which benefited from the rise in market rates.

The Manager in charge of preparing the company’s financial reports, Mr Raffaele Agrusti, declares, pursuant to paragraph 2 article 154 bis of the Consolidated Law on Finance, that the accounting information in this press release corresponds to the document results, books and accounting entries.

(*) Unless explicitly stated otherwise, changes are relative to the first semester of 2010 and are calculated on historic basis.

 

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Consolidated results at 30 June 2011  331 kb