Italian insurer Generali saw its net profit double in the first half of the year to $2 billion as its business recovered from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Generali consensus compiled by analysts, the company’s Tuesday result outperforms the expectations of analysts who had been expecting $1.73 billion on average.
By the same period of 2020, the insurer’s net profit had reached $919 million, largely due to $268 million of provisions for depreciation of investments resulting from the changes in financial markets caused by the pandemic.
During the first half of 2021, the inflow of gross premiums, the equivalent of turnover, increased by 5.5% to $45 billion, again exceeding analyst expectations of $44 billion.
In a statement, Generali’s CEO, Philippe Donnet, commented, “These excellent results confirm that we are on track to reach our ambitious goals” as part of its strategic plan, which ends in 2021.
Additionally, the Italian insurance giant reported an operating profit increase of 10.4% to 2.99 billion euros.
The operating profit was boosted by growth in the life insurance (+5.4%) and asset management (+39.6%) segments, while the property and casualty segment (-3.6%) suffered from claims related to recent natural disasters in Europe.
At the end of June, the third largest European insurer in terms of market capitalization had an economic solvency ratio of 231%, compared to 224% a year earlier.
Group management confirmed on Tuesday the objectives of its strategic plan, namely an increase in earnings per share of 6 to 8% per year and cumulative dividends of 4.5 to 5 billion euros over 2019-2021.
Philippe Donnet had said in April that he was “convinced” that the group would “achieve all the objectives” set for 2021 and announced that he was working on the 2022-24 strategic plan.
On Tuesday, Mr. Donnet, whose term ends in April 2022, confirmed he intends to present the new plan on December 15.
During its meeting, the board decided to “start preparing” a process to establish “a possible list of candidates” for its renewal in 2022.
Despite shareholder complaints, Donnet’s record will be discussed at the next directors’ meeting scheduled for September 27.