The gross written premiums of the Group amounted to € 66,691 million, showing an increase of 4.9% as a result of growth both in the Life (+5.7%) and P&C (+3.3%) segments.
The Life gross written premiums2 continued the growth posted during the year, standing at €46,084 million (+5.7%). With reference to the lines of business, positive trend in savings policies (+5.7%), specifically in Italy (+8.2%, reflecting the renewal actions undertaken on the existing portfolio of collective policies for € 1.2 billion), Asia (+23.8% due to growth in the banking channel) and France (+1.3%). Unit-linked also posted growth of 1.8%, reflecting the excellent performance in Germany and France. Protection products showed a 10.7% increase, confirming the broad growth in countries in which the Group operates.
The Life net cash inflows (+5.2%) amounted to € 11.4 billion, strengthening the growth observed in the first nine months due to the performance for the quarter.
The new business in terms of present value of new business premiums (PVNBP) amounted to € 43,202 million, showing a decline of 1.8%.
With reference to the business lines, the protection business increased by 2.1% in all the Group’s areas of operations, with the exception of Germany. Unit-linked business decreased (-1.5%, due to the performance in Italy and Germany) as did that of savings products (-3.7%), in line with the Group’s strategy aimed at reducing the guaranteed business.
The profitability of new business (margin on PVNBP) improved by 0.26 pps, to 4.35% (4.01% at 31 December 2017), following the increase in profitability of both protection products (+0.51 pps), mainly thanks to the improvement in France and Spain, and savings products (+0.29 pps), positively influenced by the continued reduction of financial guarantees and the improvement of the economic environment.
As a result of the actions described above, the value of new business (NBV) increased by 4.3% and stood at € 1,877 million (€ 1,820 million at 31 December 2017).
Insurance products, by their very nature, have a high social and environmental value given that they constitute a concrete response to pension and protection needs of customers and the growing needs of society. We constantly monitor risks that may have impact on the society and the environment as to identify opportunities and continue to create value.
As part of its offering, the Generali Group is committed to promote several high value-added solutions from a social and environmental perspective. Developing this type of coverage means providing a service that creates value over time, responding to new requirements related to emerging risks, fostering eco-sustainable conduct, and bridging gaps in the pension and public health services sectors. Embracing technology and innovation, we address habits and behaviour towards healthier and more informed lifestyles, aiming at risk prevention rather than claims settlement. In order to encourage eco-sustainable conduct and support green activities, consistent with our climate change strategy, we develop and distribute products and services with particular attention to environmental protection.
Challenges and opportunities of the market context
* Premiums from social and environmental products refer to companies that represent 94.4% of total gross direct written premiums contributing to the analysis. Their amount is hardly comparable with that of 2017 due to some methodological improvements made during 2018.
The Property & Casualty gross written premiums reached € 20,607 million, growing by 3.3%, thanks to the positive performance of both business lines.
The 3.4% growth in the motor business is attributable to the growth observed in ACEER (+5.7%), France (+4.2%) and in the Americas and Southern Europe region (+19.2%), reflecting the tariff adjustments implemented in Argentina following inflation. In spite of a recovery in the second half of the year, motor premium income in Italy was down by 1.7%, following the contraction of the portfolio as a result of measures adopted to restore portfolio profitability.
Non-motor premium income also grew (+2.7%), with positive trends broadly extended across the Group’s various areas of operations. Premiums increased in the ACEER region (+4.1%) with diversified growth in the territory, France (+2.7%), Germany (+1.8%) and in the International cluster (+ 7.2%), driven by Europ Assistance and Spain.
The decrease observed in Italy (-1.5%) persisted, related to the reduction of the Global Corporate & Commercial lines as well as in the A&H line, which reflected strong competition in a market characterized by sustained price competition.
Total gross written premiums by country (*)
|Austria, CEE & Russia||6,429||6,191|
|Americas and Southern Europe||1,427||1,858|
|Group holding and other companies||102||82|
(*) Total gross written premium for Global Business Lines (GBL), taking into consideration the business underwritten in the various countries, amounted to € 4,332 million and broken down as follows:
- Global Corporate&Commercial € 1,991 million;
- Generali Employee Benefits and Generali Global Health € 1,507 million;
- Europ Assistance € 834 million.
The details by geographical area highlighted in this document reflect the Group’s managerial structure in place at the beginning of 2018 and effective for a large part of the year, made up of the business units of the three main markets - Italy, France and Germany - and four regional structures (ACEER, International, Investments, Asset & Wealth Management, and Group holding and other companies). In International, Other companies mainly include Generali Global Health and Generali Employee Benefits.
Note to the Management Report, for the detailed description of the geographical areas presented in the document
2 Including premiums from investment contracts for € 1,457 million, stable compared to the previous period.