Generali boss plans strategic review to boost balance sheet

City A.M. Reporter
THE NEW boss of Europe’s third biggest insurer Generali yesterday announced a comprehensive strategic review of the business, as the firm’s net profit beat expectations on the back of a strong performance by its key life insurance division.

Unveiling its first set of results under new chief executive Mario Greco, Generali said its net profit had seen a “strong progression” in the second quarter.

The company said it expected full-year operating profit, stable at €2.34bn in the first six months of the year, to improve on 2011.

The company’s general insurance business was hit by the deadly earthquakes in northern Italy during May this year, with non-life operating profit falling six per cent to €755m.

Generali put the negative impact of the quake and other catastrophic events at €222m.

Its solvency margin, a measure of an insurer’s strength, stood at 130 per cent at the end of June, up from 117 per cent at the end of 2011.

“I will start a thorough review of the group financial and operational performance…a review of the strategy of the group and of its portfolio of activities, and I will examine the current organisational structure, the decision processes, the internal governance systems and the management skills and commitments,” said Greco.