GENERALI GROUP CONSOLIDATED RESULTS AT 31 DECEMBER 2019(1)
13 March 2020 - 07:30
Record FY2019 operating result of € 5.2 billion (+6.9%) with profit up at € 2.7 billion (+15.7%). Excellent capital position with solvency ratio at 224%, dividend increasing by 6.7% to € 0.96 per share
- Operating result at € 5.2 billion (+6.9%), thanks to contributions of all business segments
- Strong profit growth to € 2.7 billion (+15.7%). Adjusted net profit2 stood at € 2.2 billion. Excluding the one-off expense of € 188 million for the liability management transaction related to the buyback of subordinated notes, the adjusted net profit was € 2.4 billion (+6.6%)
- Best Life net inflows among peers at € 13.6 billion (+19.6%). Life technical reserves grew to € 369.4 billion (+7.6%). New Business Margin confirmed at excellent levels 3.89% (-0.49 p.p.)
- In P&C, gross premiums grew to € 21.5 billion (+3.9%). Combined Ratio at 92.6% (-0.4 p.p.), the best among peers
- Thanks to the positive trends in the Life and P&C segments, gross written premiums came to € 69.8 billion (+4.3%), of which € 15.2 billion from social and environmental products
- Asset Management profit rose to € 280 million (+19%)
- Excellent capital position with Regulatory Solvency Ratio at 224% (217% FY2018, +8 p.p.)
- Proposed dividend per share of € 0.96 up by 6.7% (€ 0.90 FY2018)
Generali Group CEO Philippe Donnet commented: “Generali closed 2019 with the best operating result in its history and with an excellent capital position, consolidating its role as a global leader in the industry. This set of results confirms that we are fully on track to meet all the targets of the ‘Generali 2021’ strategic plan. The disciplined implementation of the strategy is driving profitable growth across all business lines and has made it possible to enhance the diversification of the sources of profit, with Life net inflows at excellent levels and the best Combined Ratio among peers. These results, obtained despite the macroeconomic context, were achieved thanks to the contribution from all of Generali’s people - employees, agents and partners - who work to help us achieve our ambition of being a Life-time Partner to our customers. Our priority is to foster the Group’s growth that incorporates our long-term commitment to Sustainability. We have set clear and measurable objectives focussing on the environment – with regard to direct environmental impact, products and investments – employee well-being, the local communities in which we operate as well as the highest standards of governance. Our performance in 2019 and the progress we have made towards the targets of the ‘Generali 2021’ strategic plan also put us in a strong position to face the rapidly evolving situation caused by the global COVID - 19 outbreak around the world. Our key priority is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our employees while guaranteeing the continuity of all our operations and maintaining our full product offering and client service levels”.
Turin - At a meeting chaired by Gabriele Galateri di Genola, the Assicurazioni Generali Board of Directors approved the consolidated financial statements and the Parent Company’s draft financial statements for the year 2019.
In 2019, the Group achieved solid and profitable growth across all business segments thanks to the disciplined and effective implementation of the ‘Generali 2021’ strategic plan. The results confirm the Group’s technical excellence and its solid capital position, despite a deterioration in macroeconomic conditions and a continuing scenario of low interest rates.
The Group’s operating result represents its best-ever performance at € 5,192 million, an increase of 6.9% year-on-year (€ 4,857 million FY2018) thanks to the positive performance of all business segments. The Life and P&C segments confirm the excellent technical profitability, evidenced by the Combined Ratio at 92.6% (-0.4 p.p.) and by the New Business Margin at 3.89% (-0.49 p.p.). The increase in the Asset Management segment is largely driven by the overall market trend and by the consolidation of the revenues from the new multi-boutiques. The operating result from the Holding and Other Businesses benefitted from the performance of Banca Generali and from the increased returns from Private Equity.
The Group non-operating result stood at € -1,581 million (€ -1,361 million FY2018) and includes the gross one-off expense of € 245 million from the liability management transaction regarding the buyback of subordinated notes.
Net profit grew to € 2,670 million (+15.7%) and reflects the improvement of the operating result as well as the contribution from the operations that are in the process of being sold or were sold. Adjusted net profit, which does not include the impact of gains and losses related to disposals for a total of € 475 million, reached € 2,191 million. Excluding the one-off net expense of € 188 million for the above-mentioned liability management transaction, the adjusted net profit was € 2,379 million, with an increase of 6.6%.
The Asset Management business segment profit grew to € 280 million (+19%).
Gross written premiums for the Group amounted to € 69,785 million, an increase of 4.3% as a result of the positive development of both business segments. In line with the objectives of the ‘Generali 2021’ strategy, social and environmental products counted for € 15,225 million of total premiums.
Life net inflows grew to € 13,632 million (+19.6%), and the Life Technical Reserves, driven by the strong net inflows, increased by 7.6% to € 369.4 billion. Life segment premiums reached € 48,260 million, an increase of 4.5% thanks to a strong performance in the second half of the year.
P&C segment premiums, amounting to € 21,526 million, increased by 3.9% thanks to the trends witnessed in the motor and non-motor businesses and confirm the positive development posted in previous quarters.
Group Assets Under Management stood at € 630.1 billion (+29%).
The Group’s shareholders’ equity amounted to € 28,360 million (+20.2%). The change is mainly due to the result pertaining to the Group, the distribution of the dividend and the change in other profits or losses recognised to shareholders’ equity (change in AFS reserves).
The Group confirms an excellent capital position, with the Regulatory Solvency Ratio at 224%, an increase of 8 p.p. despite the persistently low interest rates.
Regarding the financial optimisation objective of the Group’s strategic plan, in January 2020 the Group has already reached the mid-point of its debt reduction target range, with a reduction in annual interest spending exceeding the top target set out in the plan.
The RoE stood at 12.4%, in line with the target of the ‘Generali 2021’ strategy.
DIVIDEND PER SHARE
The dividend per share that will be proposed at the next Shareholders’ Meeting is € 0.96 up by € 6 cents per share (+6.7%) compared to the previous year (€ 0.90 FY2018) for a total maximum pay-out amount of € 1,513 million. The pay-out ratio, excluding the capital gains relating to the disposals and the one-off expense of the liability management transaction, is equal to 63.6% (63.3% FY2018)3.
The dividend payment date is May 20, while shareholders will be entitled to receive the dividend on May 19. The coupon date is May 18.
- Strong growth in net inflows to € 13.6 billion (+19.6%) and premiums rose to € 48.3 billion (+4.5%)
- Solid new business margin at 3.89% (-0.49 p.p.) and new business value (NBV) at € 1.8 billion (-2.2%)
- Operating result grew to € 3.1 billion (+2%)
Life Net Inflows grew to € 13,632 million, remaining among the highest levels in the sector. The growth rate at 19.6% year-on-year was driven primarily by Italy (+27.3%), France (+33.5%) and Asia (+28.9%) that benefits, in particular, from fewer lapses on savings products.
Life technical reserves increased by 7.6% to € 369.4 billion.
Gross written premiums amounted to € 48,260 million (+4.5%) thanks to a particularly strong fourth quarter.
Protection product premiums increased by 7.6%, supported by the growth in all the countries in which the Group operates. Savings also witnessed an increase (+5.5%), reflecting the trends seen in Italy (+6.1%), France (+11.7%) and Germany (+11.6%). Premiums from unit- linked products fell by 2.8% for the full year; however, the final quarter of the year posted a recovery, with positive performances extended across the Group’s key areas of operations.
New business in terms of PVNBP (Present value of new business premiums) amounted to € 45,664 million, an increase of 10.1%.
Savings products grew (+15.2%) in the Group’s key areas of operations (in particular, thanks to the new savings products without annual guarantee sold in Italy), more than offsetting decreases witnessed in Spain and China. Protection products performed well (+17.3%), especially in Germany and France. The unit-linked business fell (-3.7%), due to the unfavourable performance of production witnessed in Italy that was partially offset by the solid performance in Germany and France.
The New Business Margin remained at excellent levels (3.89%, -0.49 p.p.). The slight decrease can be attributed to the unfavourable economic context but is mitigated by the further reduction in financial guarantees and improved productive mix.
As a consequence of the actions described above, the new business value (NBV) decreased by 2.2% and stood at € 1,777 million (€ 1,877 million FY2018).
The operating result of the Life segment stood at € 3,129 million (€ 3,067 million FY2018). The increase of 2% reflects the positive development in the technical margin and the investment results.
- Premiums increased to € 21.5 billion (+3.9%) thanks to growth in both motor (+2.4%) and non-motor lines of business (+3.8%)4
- Combined Ratio at 92.6% (-0.4 p.p.), the best among its peers, thanks to the improvement in the current year attritional loss ratio
- Operating result rose to € 2.1 billion (+3.3%)
Premiums in the P&C segment confirm the growth posted during the year, reaching € 21,526 million, up by 3.9% thanks to the positive performance both in the motor and non- motor lines of business.
The increase in the motor segment (+2.4%) was supported by the significant growth in ACEER5 (+6.1%), reflecting positive trends in the Czech Republic, Hungary and in Austria. France also increased (+4.1%), partly as a result of new distribution partnerships as well as Americas and Southern Europe6 (+13.5%), mainly due to the pricing adjustments made in Argentina to account for inflation. Motor premium income in Italy fell by 1.3%, as a result of the reduction of motor third-party liability portfolio.
Non-motor premiums also rose (+3.8%), thanks to the positive trends in the Group’s areas of operations. In detail, premiums also in ACEER (+6.1%), France (+3.2%), Italy (+2.9%), Germany (+1.7%), and International (+5.8%), driven by Spain (+4.6%).
The operating result stood at € 2,057 million (€ 1,992 million FY2018), an increase of 3.3% thanks to the improvement of the technical result.
The Combined Ratio was 92.6% (-0.4 p.p.), the best among peers. The ability in risk selection was confirmed by the decrease in the non-catastrophe current year loss ratio also impacted by approximately € 70 million lower of large man-made claims. The impact from natural catastrophe claims was 2% (1.7% FY2018).
ASSET MANAGEMENT SEGMENT
The operating result of the Asset Management segment stood at € 425 million, up by 27%. The increase came primarily from the growth in operating revenues at € 813 million (+34%), driven by the market performance and the consolidation of the revenues of the new multi- boutiques.
The net profit of the Asset Management segment increased to € 280 million (+19%).
Third-party Assets Under Management7 rose from € 27 billion at the end of 2018 to € 106 billion at the end of 2019 primarily due to the integration of the new boutiques and the contribution of assets of a number of companies disposed of during the year. These assets were previously held by the Group and retained under its management as a result of the sale agreements.
Total Assets Under Management reached € 531 billion.
HOLDING AND OTHER BUSINESSES SEGMENT
The operating result of the Holding and other businesses segment stood at € 8 million, an improvement compared to € -70 million at 31 December 2018, reflecting the improved performance of Banca Generali, as well as increased income from private equity and the results of the pension fund Planvital (Chile).
The net operating Holding expenses were €-529 million (€-467 million FY2018), reflecting the implementation of the Group’s strategic projects and the share plan for employees (WeShare).
COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY
As laid out in the ‘Generali 2021’ Plan, Sustainability became an enabler of the Company strategies. During the course of 2019, the Group therefore undertook significant initiatives aimed at including sustainability in all business segments.
Thanks to these actions, Generali was confirmed in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (first insurance company based in Italy), was incorporated for the first time in the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index and was included in the “2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations” of Corporate Knights, which ranks the 100 most sustainable companies in the world. Following the end of the year, in January, Generali joined the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, a group of 18 pension funds and insurance companies, created on the back of a United Nations initiative. This initiative is committed to reducing the net greenhouse gas emissions of its portfolios to zero in order to avoid an increase in global temperatures above the Paris target of 1.5°C.
Generali collected more than € 15 billion in premiums from social and environmental products, made new green and sustainable investments totalling € 2.7 billion8 and was the first insurance company in Europe to issue a subordinated Green Bond (€ 750 million).
The Company’s Board of Directors approved a climate policy which makes provision, inter alia, for the commitment not to insure any new coal customer and any new construction of mines or coal-fuelled power plants. The Board of Directors also approved the new Group Materiality Matrix, identifying the four megatrends on which the Group’s common strategic initiatives and associated reports will focus: climate change; population ageing and transformation of pension systems; digital transformation and cyber-security; geopolitical, macroeconomic and financial instability.
In order to measure and promote employee engagement, the third edition of the Generali Global Engagement Survey was conducted in June 2019 with a response rate of 89% (+3 p.p. compared to 2017). The results of the Survey led to the identification of 430 specific actions aimed at responding to employee requests. Smart working and reskilling for its employees are two of the main initiatives of the People Strategy. Smart working is active in 62% of the Group’s areas with the objective of extending it to the entire Group by 2021 to strengthen the ability to adapt to change, to place the central focus on the customer and to instil responsibility in our people through simpler and more flexible organisations.
One specific reskilling and upskilling training programme will involve 50% of employees over the next two years. The Group has accelerated the promotion of an inclusive organisational culture which values all diversity, and the publication of the Diversity and Inclusion Index (77% in 2019, with the goal of reaching 100% in 2021) is testimony to the significant commitment pledged by Generali in this area. In 2019, the first shareholding plan for all employees was successfully launched, equal to 0.38% of the share capital, which saw 35% of the entire Group take up the offer.
With the objective of becoming a Life-time Partner of our customers in mind, Generali proactively listens to their requirements and responds to their needs: with a RNPS (Relationship Net Promoter Score) in 2019 equal to three points; this reduces the gap with our European competitors.
The Generali Group is highly active in the local communities of the countries in which it operates.
In 2017, The Human Safety Net (THSN) project was launched at global level, now active in 21 countries in collaboration with 46 local partners. Through an innovative model, THSN aims to activate financial and technical resources, as well as the network of people and the skills of Generali’s employees and agents to meet shared objectives through three programmes (for families, the entrepreneurship of refugees and new-borns) aimed at bringing lasting change to the lives of people who live in the most vulnerable situations.
In a context of greater uncertainty and volatility due to the further spread of COVID -19 - for which it is not currently possible to make a reasonable estimate of the medium-term impact - we continue to focus on the disciplined execution of the strategy. Generali has promptly implemented a series of initiatives to ensure business continuity and to protect the health of the people who work for the Group and its customers. Generali is a global insurance player that increasingly uses digital technology in its customer relations. It is recognized as one of the most solid operators in the industry thanks to its excellent Solvency level and efficient financial management.
The Group therefore is continuing with the disciplined execution of the ‘General 2021’ strategy along the lines of profitable growth objectives driven by technical performance, efficiency of the operating structure and the solidity of the distribution network. This growth forecasts a positive contribution also from the recent expansion transactions both in Eastern Europe and in Portugal as well as in Asset Management.
Thanks to the results posted in 2019 and by leveraging the initiatives undertaken, the Group confirms the targets of the ’Generali 2021’ strategic plan, with growth in earnings per share9 of between 6% and 8%, an average RoE of more than 11.5% and a dividend pay-out ratio10 between 55% and 65%.
SHARE CAPITAL INCREASE RESOLUTION IN IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LONG-TERM INCENTIVE PLAN 2017
The Board of Directors also approved a capital increase of € 6,278,644 to implement the “Long-Term Incentive Plan 2017,” having ascertained the occurrence of the conditions on which it was based. The execution of the resolution of the Board is subject to the authorisation of the related amendments to the articles of association by IVASS.
MAIN SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN 2020
Acquisition completed in Portugal of the entire ownership stake of the company Seguradoras Unidas and services company AdvanceCare. The transaction, announced in July 2019, represents an important step in the Group’s three-year strategy, which foresees the strengthening of Generali’s leading position in Europe.
Generali did not refinance € 1.25 billion of senior debt coming due in January 2020, coherent with the debt reduction target included in the ‘Generali 2021’ three-year plan.
Generali included in the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations of Corporate Knights, which ranks the 100 most sustainable companies in the world.
Generali joins the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, a group of 18 pension funds and insurance companies created on the back of a United Nations initiative.
Energy Hub inaugurated in the Generali Tower in the Citylife district in Milan, an innovative laboratory dedicated to stimulating the physical and mental energy of all employees and promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Designed in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines as part of a preventive health approach, the Energy Hub is the latest step in the welfare journey for the Group’s employees.
The Bank Italy authorised ThreeSixty Investments to operate as an SGR (asset management company), Generali’s first Italian boutique announced in April 2019. The new company will offer multi-asset investment solutions with an innovative and integrated approach on a wide range of asset classes.
In line with the Group’s sustainability and capital management strategy, Generali defined its first framework for Green Insurance Linked Securities, alternative financial instruments for the transfer of insurance risk to institutional investors.
The Manager in charge of preparing the company’s financial reports, Cristiano Borean, 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.
The glossary and the description of alternative performance indicators are available in the 2019 Annual Integrated Report and Consolidated Financial Statements of the Group.
GROUP’S BALANCE SHEET AND INCOME STATEMENT11
PARENT COMPANY’S BALANCE SHEET AND INCOME STATEMENT12
(in thousands euro)
PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT
(in thousands euro)
1Changes in premiums, Life net inflows and PVNBP (present value of new business premiums) are presented in equivalent terms (at constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation). Changes in the operating result, own investments and Life technical provisions exclude assets disposed of during the comparison period.
2Adjusted net profit does not include the impact of gains and losses related to disposals.
3Adjusted for the impact of gains and losses coming from disposals. 2018 ratio has been restated based on 2018 adjusted profit.
4The breakdown for motor and non-motor is provided on direct business.
5Austria, CEE and Russia.
6Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, USA, Greece, Turkey and Portugal.
7This figure refers only to the Asset Management segment.
8Cumulative figure 2018 - 2019
9Three-year CAGR; adjusted for impact of gains and losses related to disposals.
10Adjusted for impact for gains and losses related to disposals.
11With regard to the financial statements envisaged by law, note that statutory audit on the data has not been completed. The Group will publish the final version of the Annual Integrated Report and Consolidated Financial Statements e 2019 in accordance with prevailing law, also including the Board of Statutory Auditors’ Report and Independent Auditor’s Reports.
12With regard to the financial statements envisaged by law, note that statutory audit on the data has not been completed. The Group will publish the final version of the Proposal of Management Report and Financial Statements of Parent Company 2019 in accordance with prevailing law, also including the Board of Statutory Auditors’ Report and Independent Auditor’s Report.