Assicurazioni Generali SpA, Italy’s biggest insurer, said third-quarter profit remained little changed as higher operating income from its life segment and property and casualty operations was offset by taxes.
Net income rose to €513 million ($653.75 million] from €510 million [$650 million] a year earlier, Trieste, Italy-based Generali said today. That’s in line with the €514 million [$655 million] average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Operating income increased 21 percent to €1.16 billion [$2.0389 billion], beating analysts’ average expectations of €1.11 billion [$1.4 billion].
Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco, 55, has sold non- strategic assets to focus on the insurer’s main business, strengthen finances and bolster profitability since taking over in 2012. Chief Financial Officer Alberto Minali told reporters today that the company expects to pay a higher dividend for this year, while forecasting an increase in operating income.
Operating income in the life segment rose 27 percent to €748 million [$953 million] in the third quarter from a year earlier as income at the non-life business increased about 6 percent to €449 million [$574.2 million]. Claims and costs as a proportion of non-life premiums, known as the combined ratio, fell to 93.6 percent at the end of September. The solvency 1 ratio was at 160 percent at the end of September.
Generali also announced the buyback of perpetual notes in euros and pounds that will be financed through the issue of new securities. The nominal value of the securities is €1.28 billion [$1.63 billion], €1.25 billion [$1.593 billion] and £700 million [$1.116 billion].
Generali fell 0.2 percent to €16.3 [$20.77] in Milan trading as of 9:35 a.m., valuing the company at about €26 billion [$33 billion]. The shares have dropped 3.2 percent this year, compared with a 4 percent increase of the 32-member Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index.
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