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Generali logs higher profit YOY in FY'18

Generali recorded group net profit of €2.31 billion in 2018, up from €2.11 billion in the prior year on better operating result and the contribution from discontinued operations or disposals.

The group's operating result increased 3% to €4.86 billion as a result of the contribution of all business segments. EPS rose year over year to €1.46 from €1.33.

The operating result of the life segment increased 2.8% to €3.07 billion from about €2.98 billion due to technical margin trends net of insurance and other operating expenses.

The operating result of the property and casualty segment climbed 2.5% to €1.99 billion from €1.94 billion primarily due to the investment result and the positive contribution of other operating items. The operating result included €342 million in catastrophe claims and about €290 million in man-made claims.

The P&C combined ratio for 2018 was "substantially stable" at 93%, Generali said.

Total premiums of the group amounted to €66.70 billion, an increase of 4.9%.

The group's regulatory solvency ratio stood at 216%, up by 9 percentage points.

The company will propose a dividend of 90 cents per share, higher than the previous payout of 85 cents per share. The dividend payment date is May 22, while shareholders will be entitled to receive the dividend on May 21. The coupon date is May 20.

In the context of economic growth in the eurozone slowing in 2019 and the European Central Bank possibly raising rates "not before the half of 2020," Generali will continue with its portfolio rebalancing strategy to further strengthen profit margins in the life segment with a more efficient capital allocation approach.

In the P&C segment, premium inflows are expected to improve in the group's main geographical areas, with a considerable focus on high-growth potential markets.