Interim Report as at March 31, 2014 – Press Release
15 May 2014 - 07:33
INTERIM REPORT AS AT MARCH 31, 2014 - PRESS RELEASE¹
With respect to the program regarding the implementation of the international principles of Integrated reporting launched by the Group, as of this quarterly report, Generali has provided streamlined information to the market, focusing only on material quarterly information. Whilst maintaining the same quantitative information, the Group has provided an innovative approach in corporate reporting, with the objective of improving the usability of public information.
Net profit rose to € 660 million (+9.4%)
Solvency I ratio the highest result achieved by the Group at 152% at the end of the quarter (+ 11 pp YE13), at the end of April approximately 160%. Net equity increased during the quarter to € 21.7 billion (+9.9%)
Premiums exceed € 18 billion (+1.5%) due to the growth in the life sector
Operating result at € 1.3 billion (+0.5%) reaching pre-economic crisis levels, thanks to the performance in all segments, particularly in the property & casualty sector (+3.7%)
Completion of refinancing requirements until 2016 call dates. The reduction of debt of € 1 billion expected by 2015
The Generali Group Chief Financial Officer, Alberto Minali, commented: “The first quarter results confirm the progress we are making in terms of business profitability, operating performance and capital strengthening. We continue to be focused on executing our strategy and we believe we will be able to meet our disposal and Solvency targets ahead of schedule”.
¹ The changes in premiums, net cash inflows and APE are on equivalent terms (at constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation). The comparative figures of economic performance indicators have been restated in line with the current scope of consolidation. Consequently, the changes indicated in the results of operations and investments are on a comparable basis, excluding discontinued operations as at March 31, 2014 from the comparative period.
Milan. In a meeting chaired by Gabriele Galateri di Genola, the Assicurazioni Generali Board of Directors approved the consolidated results for the three months to 31 March 2014.
In the first quarter of 2014, Generali continued enhancing and strengthening both its profitability and its financial solidity with a solvency ratio of 152%, achieving approximately 160% at the end of April, the highest results achieved by the Group since the introduction of IAS / IFRS in 2005.
Net income for the quarter rose to € 660 million (+9.4%; € 603 million 1Q2013) due to an increase in gross written premiums to € 18,477 million (+1.5%) and high business profitability with an operating result of € 1,296 million (€ 1,290 million 1Q2013), which reaches pre-economic crisis levels. A positive contribution was also achieved from the non-operating investment result which benefited from the favourable performance of financial markets.
Geographical diversification and the distribution capacity of the Group have contributed positively to the operating performance, despite the still uncertain economic recovery and low interest rates.
In the Life, segment, gross written premiums amounted to € 12 billion (+2.4%), driven by the strong performance in Italy (+27%) and the growth of linked products (+20.5%). Actions to improve products technical features as well as the positive impact of increased interest rates have contributed to the strong growth in the new business value (NBV) amounting to € 320 million (+35.2%), with NBM margins at 25.2% from 20.9% 1Q2013. The operating result for the Life segment, amounted to € 779 million, stable at the high level of last year.
In the Property & casualty, segment, considering the current difficult market environment, gross written premiums remain stable at € 6,416 million. The operating result increased to € 516 million (+3.7%), supported by excellent technical profitability, with a combined ratio of 92.7% (-0.8 pp), an improvement despite the weight of 0.6 percentage points from the catastrophic events affecting in particular Italy and France.
In the Financial il segment, the operating result increased by 21% to € 144 million due to the positive performance of Banca Generali.
In addition to the positive results, the first quarter confirms the strengthening of capital position. In particular, the shareholders equity of the Group amounted to € 21,741 million (+9.9%) compared to € 19,778 million at December 31, 2013, substantially benefiting from the positive economic results for the period and the favourable performance of financial markets, which have contributed to an increase in the reserve for unrealized gains and losses on available for sale financial investments.
The Solvency ratio improved by 11 pp to 152% (141% at December 31, 2013) due to the increase in shareholders equity. Capital in excess of regulatory requirements amounted to € 9.3 billion. The strengthening of financial position is also confirmed by the excellent results achieved during the recent issuance of bonds through which the Group has refinanced all maturities until the next call date in 2016.
Life Segment: growth in written premiums and profitability
- Gross written premiums increase to € 12 billion (+2.4%) attributable to the development of linked products and the strong performance in Italy (+27%)
- New Business Value at € 320 million (+35.2%) and NBM margins at 25.2%
- New business in terms of APE at € 1,27 billion (+5.4%)
- Operating result at € 779 million, stable at the high level of last year
Gross written premiums in the life segment, amounted to € 12,061 billion, registering a growth of +2.4%, due in particular to the development of single premiums (+6.1%). Strong growth in premiums from linked contracts (+20.5%) in line with the strategy aimed at favouring lower capital absorption products. Savings and pension lines show a slight decrease (-2.4%), while protection policies are stable (-0.7%).
With regards to the main countries where the Group operates, premium growth in Italy amounted to € 3,754 million (+27%, € 2,955 million 1Q2013) due mainly to the written premiums from savings and linked products. A positive contribution was also attained from Ireland whilst the trend in France (-7.6%) and Germany (-18.6%) was influenced by the orientation towards the favouring of products that generate greater profitability with a lower capital absorption. A good premium growth in Asia (+48.3%) was achieved.
The growth in premiums written has increased the development (+4.3%) of life net cash inflows – equal to the amount of premiums collected net of benefits paid - which amounted to € 2,888 million, evidencing a strong increase in Italy and in EMEA countries.
New business in terms of APE evidenced an increase of 5.4% to € 1,270 million, following the remarkable development observed in Italy (+42.6%). A positive performance from both annual premiums (+5.1%) - which account for almost 60% of new business in the first quarter of 2014 - and single premiums (+5.9%) should be noted.
The operating result of the life segment is stable at € 779 million (€ 781 million in the first quarter of 2013). This trend is attributable to the improvement in the financial margin and the simultaneous reduction of costs, which offset the decline in the technical margin. The increase in the financial margin was due to the greater contribution of current income and net realized gains on bonds and equities.
Property & Casualty Segment: increase in technical result despite higher catastrophic events
- Gross written premiums stable at € 6,4 billion mainly from premiums collection in Germany (+1.2%)
- Combined ratio at 92.7% an improvement of 0.8 pp due to the decrease in the loss ratio and cost containment
- Operating result increasing to € 516 million (+3.7%)
Gross written premiums from the property & casualty segment remained stable at € 6,416 million (-0.1%) with a positive performance in Germany (€ 1,460 million, +1.2%) and Latin America, while in Italy and France, which were characterized by a negative trend in the market, there was a drop in premiums, of respectively, 4% and 5.8%.
Growth in Non-motor lines (+0.8%) due to the positive trends from Accident and Health lines (+3.2%) and Commercial /Industrial lines (+1.9%), against a slight decrease in the Personal lines (-1.3%). Motor lines were stable, where growth recorded in Latin America countries offset the negative trends in the main countries where the Group operates, in particular Italy, France and Spain.
The operating result amounted to € 516 million, an increase of 3.7% due to the contribution from both the technical and financial result, despite the floods and storms in Italy and France during January and February which cost € 30.4 million (0.6 pp in terms of combined ratio).
The decrease in the loss ratio to 65.7% (-0.4 pp), and the containment of costs has led to an expense ratio of 27% (-0.4 pp), resulting in an improvement of 0.8 percentage points in the overall combined ratio to 92.7%.
With respect to the major markets, the combined ratio improves in Italy to 90.6% (92.0% 1Q13), while France (+6 pp) was affected in part by the impact of catastrophic events. The combined ratio of 94.0% in Germany remained substantially stable, while the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have confirmed a high technical result with a combined ratio of 81.8%.
Financial Segment: operating result increasing to € 144 million (+21%)
At 31 March 2014, third party assets managed by banks and asset management Group companies amounted to € 104,273 million, essentially unchanged compared to 31 December 2013 (€ 104,346 million).
The operating result of the Financial segment increased significantly to € 144 million (€ 119 million at 31 March 2013) due to the positive performance of Banca Generali. The net result increased mainly due to higher dividends and higher net realized gains. Net commission income also increased. Acquisition and administration costs and other operating income and expenses were essentially stable. The cost income ratio went from 66.6% at 31 March 2013 to 61.9% primarily due to the development of the net investment result.
|Total book value||% of total||Total book value||% of total|
|Fixed income instruments||296,183||82.9||280,374||82.0|
|Land and buildings (investment properties)||14,845||4.2||14,956||4.4|
|Cash and cash equivalents||17,553||4.9||18,239||5.3|
|General account investments||357,088||100.0||342,036||100.0|
|Investments back to unit- and index-linked policies||60,529||59,116|
At the end of the quarter, the Group's total assets under management increased by 3.4% to € 524.9 billion, comprising € 357.1 billion of the Group's own investments (+4.4%), € 60.5 billion in investments where the investment risk is borne by the policyholders (+2.4%) and € 107.2 billion in assets under management on behalf of third parties, stable compared to the end of 2013. The Groups investments increased by 4.4% compared to 31.12.2013, mainly due to the bond portfolio that has benefited from both of the increase in the market value of government securities and the reinvestment of premiums collected during the period into this asset class. A slight reduction in the equity and cash portfolios was observed, in line with the investment policy of the Group.
In effect, 2014 will be based on an asset allocation aimed at consolidating the current margins and reducing the level of cash held . With respect to fixed income investments, the investment strategy aims at portfolio diversification, both in non-Italian government bonds and corporate bonds ensuring both adequate profitability for policyholders and a satisfactory return on capital. Equity exposure will be rationalized by reinvesting in both public and private companies, pursuing a strategy aimed at long-term capital appreciation. Investment in the real estate sector will continue in both core markets (Italy, France, Germany) and in new areas (Asia, U.S.A. and UK) , where selective investments will be made. With regards to liquidity, efforts to reinvest in a wider scope of asset classes will continue.
Significant events after 31 March 2014
Generali has been recognised by rating agencies for its strategy aimed at the improvement of economic viability and capital strength
In late March, the rating agency Standard & Poor's affirmed its A-rating of Generali, thus resolving the CreditWatch initiated following a review of the "Ratings Above The Sovereign" introduced last year. Generali passed Standard & Poor's extreme stress test, clearly demonstrating its ability to maintain a positive solvency even in a highly distressed scenario. In February, the rating agency Fitch affirmed the Insurer Financial Strength rating of A- of Assicurazioni Generali and on 2 May 2014 Generali's outlook was improved from negative to stable. Finally, in February, the rating agency Moody's upgraded Generali's outlook from negative to stable and confirmed the Insurance Strength Rating at Baa1. Both the Fitch and Moody's decisions reflected the same action taken on the Italian Sovereign.
The Group has undertaken important actions to optimize its debt and strengthen its financial solidity
On January 14 2014, Assicurazioni Generali issued a senior bond for a total amount of € 1,250 million, approximately 90% of the placement went to international institutional investors. The issuance proceeds were used to refinance part of the Group's senior debt maturing in 2014, amounting to € 2,250 million, in line with Generali Group's funding strategy. The remaining maturities will be funded from internal resources. The placement has a duration of six years and an annual coupon of 2.875%. With respect to this placement, the rating agency A.M. Best Europe has assigned the rating of A-, Moody's assigned a Baa2 rating. S&P and Fitch have assigned the rating BBB+.
Subsequent to quarter end, in April, Generali placed a fixed rate 12-year subordinated bond for an overall amount of €1 billion. The issue, with a coupon of 4.125%, was directed to institutional investors and has attracted orders for more than 7 times the target. The issue aimed both to replace regulatory capital after the non-admissibility of the € 500 million subordinated loan granted in 2008, (which was repaid in April this year), and to refinance the senior debt of the Group due in 2015, at a lower cost to the Group.
The Group has covered all funding needs until the 2016 call dates.
Generali has successfully optimized its protection against catastrophic events with the first cat bond to cover damage from storms in Europe
Last April, Assicurazioni Generali became the first Italian sponsor to enter the Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) market to optimize its protection against catastrophes. This operation represent also the first ever 144A indemnity catastrophe bond placement on European windstorm. The innovative transaction provides Generali with a per occurrence cover in respect of losses from Europe windstorms over a three year period. The demand from capital market investors has allowed the protection provided to Generali to be upsized to € 190 million with a fixed premium of 2.25% per annum.
Generali Deutschland Holding minorities squeeze-out concluded, delisting will follow shortly
In May, the Company registered with the Commercial Register the resolution approving the squeeze-out of Generali Deutschland Holding's minorities by the extraordinary general meeting of GDH's shareholders – taken on December 4, 2013. By the registration of the shareholders' resolution all the shares held by the minority shareholders in GDH were transferred to Assicurazioni Generali. The cash compensation granted to the minority shareholders is equal to € 107.77 per share. Following the conclusion of the squeeze-out process, the GDH shares will be delisted shortly.
The acquisition process of the minorities of Generali's German subsidiary is thus completed, and it is consistent with the aim of the Group to have the full control of all strategic business units.
The reference scenario that the Group expects is of volatility in the financial markets and a weaker recovery of GDP in both the Euro Area and the United States with a more pronounced recovery in emerging markets.
Given such a scenario in 2014, the Group in the life segment expects a stable premium income, also driven by a careful underwriting policy which reflects the focus on the value of the products.
The strategic objective of increasing the contribution to the Group's results of the property & casualty segment could be affected by the competitive markets where it operates. Actions to improve the operational efficiency, both in the signing of contracts and the management of claims will be undertaken. In light of the actions taken, given the presence of an uncertain macro-economic scenario and in line with its strategic objectives, the Group will continue in 2014 to undertake all actions aimed at improving the overall operating result.
Paolo Scaroni suspends himself from the Board
The Board acknowledged the decision of Mr. Paolo Scaroni to suspend himself pursuant to articles Nos. 5 and 7 of Ministerial Decree 11 November 2011, No. 220 and stated that same suspension will have effect until the next shareholders' meeting, which will be called by the Board pursuant to the abovementioned decree.
Mr. Scaroni said that he has considered this step appropriate according to a prudential interpretation of the abovementioned decree and as a consequence of the first instance decision pronounced by the Court of Rovigo on environmental violations linked to Enel's Porto Tolle plant. Mr. Scaroni served as CEO of Enel from 2002 to 2005.
Generali's Board of Directors also acknowledged that Mr. Scaroni declares himself totally unrelated to the charges and that he has given mandate to appeal the decision issued by the Penal Court. The crimes indicated in the mentioned decision do not concern the insurance and financial sectors.
Generali thanks Mr. Scaroni for his transparency and commitment.
The Manager in charge of preparing the company's financial reports, Alberto Minali, 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.
|Gross written premiums||18,477||18,414||1.5%|
|of which life segment||12,061||11,860||2.4%|
|of which property&casualty segment||6,416||6,555||-0.1%|
|Consolidated operating result||1,296||1,290||0.5%|
|of which life segment||779||781||-0.2%|
|of which property&casualty segment||516||498||3.7%|
|Result of the period||660||603||9.4%|
|Third parties asset under management||107,236||107,232||0.0%|
|Shareholders’ equity attributable to the Group||21,741||19,778||9.9%|
|Solvency I ratio||152%||141%||11%|
FROM OPERATING RESULT TO GROUP RESULT
|Consolidated operating result||1,296||1,290||0.5%|
|Net earned premiums||15,534||15,692||-1.0%|
|Net insurance benefits and claims||-16,134||-15,945||1.2%|
|Acquisition and administration costs||-2,673||-2,804||-4.7%|
|Net fee and commission income and net income from financial service activities||217||207||4.5%|
|Net operating income from financial instruments at fair value through profit or loss||1,006||1,319||-23.8%|
|Net operating income from other financial instruments||3,557||3,024||17.7%|
|Interest income and other income||2,911||2,844||2.3%|
|Net operating realized gains on other financial instruments and land and buildings (investment properties)||908||659||37.9%|
|Net operating impairment losses on other financial instruments and land and buildings (investment properties)||-15||-200||-92.5%|
|Interest expense on liabilities linked to operating activities||-109||-137||-20.5%|
|Other expenses from other financial instruments and land and buildings (investment properties)||-138||-142||-2.9%|
|Operating holding expenses||-97||-83||17.4%|
|Net other operating expenses (*)||-114||-122||-6.2%|
|Consolidated non-operating result||-242||-283||-14.6%|
|Net non-operating income from financial instruments at fair value through profit or loss||-67||-8||n.m.|
|Net non-operating income from other financial instruments (**)||196||-10||n.m.|
|Net non-operating realized gains on other financial instruments and land and buildings (investment properties)||255||95||167.4%|
|Net non-operating impairment losses on other financial instruments and land and buildings (investment properties)||-59||-105||-44.2%|
|Non-operating holding expenses||-210||-187||11.9%|
|Interest expenses on financial debt||-197||-187||5.0%|
|Other non-operating holding expenses||-13||0||n.m.|
|Net other non-operating expenses||-161||-78||106.1%|
|Earnings before taxes (***)||1,054||1,006||4.7%|
|Income taxes (*)||-323||-347||-6.9%|
|Earnings after taxes||730||659||10.8%|
|Profit or loss from discontinued operations||1||13||-90.8%|
|Consolidated result of the period||732||672||8.8%|
|Result of the period attributable to the Group||660||603||9.4%|
|Result of the period attributable to minority interests||72||69||3.9%|
(*) At 31 March 2014 the amount is net of operating taxes for € 16 million and of non-recurring taxes shared with the policyholders in Germany for € 6 million (at 31 March 2013 respectively for € 16 million and € 4 million).
(**) The amount is gross of interest expense on liabilities linked to financing activities.
(***) The amount is net of the share attributable to the policyholders in Germany and Austria
|1 INTANGIBLE ASSETS||9,318||9,352|
|1.2 Other intangible assets||2,150||2,189|
|2 TANGIBLE ASSETS||4,780||4,786|
|2.1 Land and buildings (self used)||2,879||2,879|
|2.2 Other tangible assets||1,901||1,907|
|3 AMOUNTS CEDED TO REINSURERS FROM INSURANCE PROVISIONS||4,862||4,875|
|4.1 Land and buildings (investment properties)||12,738||12,828|
|4.2 Investments in subsidiaries, associated companies and joint ventures||1,402||1,407|
|4.3 Held to maturity investments||3,785||4,115|
|4.4 Loans and receivables||63,763||63,371|
|4.5 Available for sale financial assets||245,887||230,031|
|4.6 Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss||74,612||72,893|
|of which financial assets where the investment risk is borne by the policyholders and related to pension funds||60,529||59,116|
|5.1 Receivables arising out of direct insurance operations||8,575||7,584|
|5.2 Receivables arising out of reinsurance operations||974||1,082|
|5.3 Other receivables||2,763||2,249|
|6 OTHER ASSETS||16,267||15,651|
|6.1 Non-current assets or disposal groups classified as held for sale||639||653|
|6.2 Deferred acquisition costs||1,953||1,957|
|6.3 Deferred tax assets||2,873||2,807|
|6.4 Tax receivables||2,762||2,866|
|6.5 Other assets||8,040||7,368|
|7 CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS||18,096||19,431|
|1 SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY||23,450||21,405|
|1.1 Shareholders' equity attributable to the Group||21,741||19,778|
|1.1.1 Share capital and reserves||17,831||15,919|
|1.1.2 Reserve for unrealized gains and losses through equity||3,250||1,944|
|1.1.3 Result of the period||660||1,915|
|1.2 Shareholders' equity attributable to minority interests||1,709||1,627|
|2 OTHER PROVISIONS||1,839||1,768|
|3 INSURANCE PROVISIONS||356,993||345,752|
|of which insurance provisions for policies where the investment risk is borne by the policyholders and related to pension funds||46,593||45,809|
|4 FINANCIAL LIABILITIES||64,440||62,016|
|4.1 Financial liabilities at fair value through profit or loss||16,724||16,084|
|of which financial liabilities where the investment risk is borne by the policyholders and related to pension funds||14,060||13,227|
|4.2 Other financial liabilities||47,717||45,932|
|of which subordinated liabilities||7,627||7,612|
|5.1 Payables arising out of direct insurance operations||3,557||3,190|
|5.2 Payables arising out of reinsurance operations||561||572|
|5.3 Other payables||4,896||4,367|
|6 OTHER LIABILITIES||12,083||10,586|
|6.1 Liabilities directly associated with non-current assets and disposal groups classified as held for sale||663||648|
|6.2 Deferred tax liabilities||2,826||2,338|
|6.3 Tax payables||2,013||1,607|
|6.4 Other liabilities||6,581||5,993|
|7 TOTAL SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY AND LIABILITIES||467,821||449,656|
Life segment indicators by country
|(€ million)||Gross written premiums||Net cash inflow||APE|
|Central and Eastern Europe||375||393||130||143||32||36|
Direct written premiums by line of business
|(€ million)||Savings and Pension||Protection||Unit/index linked||Total|
|Central and Eastern Europe||198||219||61||61||116||113||375||393|
|Total direct written premiums||7,141||7,362||2,146||2,191||2,636||2,195||11,922||11,748|
|(€ million)||Operating result|
|Central and Eastern Europe||53||41|
Property and Casualty indicators by country
|Gross written premiums||Operating result|
|Central and Eastern Europe||515||534||77||76|
Direct written premiums by line of business
|Central and Eastern Europe||243||252||265||268||508||520|
|Total direct written premiums||2,702||2,797||3,569||3,575||6,271||6,372|
|Combined ratio (*)||Loss ratio||Expense ratio|
|Central and Eastern Europe||81.8%||84.4%||49.7%||52.3%||32.1%||32.1%|
(*) CAT claims impacted on the Group combined ratio for 0.6 pps, of which 0.9 pps in Italy and 2.7 pps in France (At 31 March 2013 there had not been CAT claims).
|Personal||Commercial/ Industrial||Accident/Health (*)|
|Central and Eastern Europe||87||91||149||149||28||29|
|Total direct written premiums||1,530||1,543||1,257||1,273||782||759|
(*) The Accident/Health business premiums, managed according to the criteria of the life business, are taken into account in the life segment.