All in all, "in spite of this difficult context the Group achieved a good performance in the half year, with a total operating result at the same level as the first half of 2011", said Raffaele AGRUSTI, CFO, GENERALI Group.
"The resilient contribution of the Life segment and the improving trend of GENERALI's underlying Non Life technical profitability" are, according to AGRUSTI, the main factors of the good overall performance. "Indeed our combined ratio excluding the impact of CAT events - among which the earthquake which occurred in Italy last May - improved by 1.5 points, achieving 94.7%, which is an excellent level both in the history of our Group and in comparison with the market", said the Group's CFO, adding that the net profit increased by 4.5%, reflecting the positive evolution of the non operating result, thanks to a lower charge of impairment losses compared to the first half of 2011.
Life gross premiums written grew (+0.4%) to EUR 23,2 million, with particularly significant progress in savings products (+0.9%) and protection covers (+4.1%), which counterbalanced the decline in linked products (-5.7%) caused by market volatility. Looking at the group's main areas of operation, the growth trend in life production continued in the CEE countries (+5.2%), driven by all lines of business, in France (+3.2%) and in Switzerland (+6.6%). In CEE, particularly good performances were recorded in protection and traditional savings products, in the Czech Republic.
Non-Life premiums made significant progress to EUR 12.4 million (+5.2%), thanks in particular to the non-motor lines and contributions from all the main countries where the group operates. Strong premium growth was reported in Germany (+7.1%) and in the CEE countries (+8.2%) where the performance of the non-motor lines was notable (+20.4%). In particular in Russia and in Poland, whereas the motor segment is still affected by price competition, the growth on the non-motor lines was significant
The operating result in financial services rose to EUR 211 million (+2.4%), assisted in particular by the stronger performance in financial management. At the end of June, assets under management stood at EUR 430,8 million (EUR 424,4 million at 31 December 2011), including third-party assets of EUR 90,6 million (EUR 88,2 million at 31 December 2011), an improvement of 7.6%.
The overall operating result, at EUR 2,3 million (-0.1%), reached the levels of the first half of 2011, despite the sharp decline in the economic and financial environment and the significant impact of catastrophic events.
Operating performance was buoyed by the Life operating result, which rose to EUR 1,6 million (+3.1%) with an acceleration in the second quarter (+11.4%). Both the technical margin and the financial margin improved.
The non-life operating result was EUR 755 million (-5.9%), reflecting the impact of severe catastrophic events for EUR 255 million - of which EUR 155 million related to the earthquake in Emilia Romagna - compared with EUR 33 million in the first half of 2011. Catastrophes had an impact of 2.4 percentage points on the combined ratio which was 97.1% (96.5% 1H2011, with catastrophe-related claims accounting for 0.3 p.p.). Net of catastrophic events in both periods, the ratio improved by 1.5 percentage points, thanks to control of expenditure, premium growth and a prudent underwriting policy. In geographical terms, the CEE countries confirmed their high margins with a combined ratio of 87.5%, a market leading performance.
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