The gross written premiums in the Life segment continued the growth in place 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 actions undertaken on the existing portfolio of collective policies which offset the reduction of the premiums relating to hybrid products), Asia (+23.8%) and France (+1.3%). Unit-linked premiums also grew by 1.8%, driven in particular by the performance in Germany and France consistent with the Group strategy aimed at the growth of this line. The protection products show a 10.7% increase, confirming the broad growth in countries in which the Group operates.
Gross direct premiums by line of business at 31 December 2018
Gross direct premiums by line of business at 31 December 2017
The net cash inflows were amongst the highest levels in the market, reaching € 11,369 million. The 5.2% growth, equal to € 492 million, reflected the trend of France (+ € 612 million), which benefited from the rising premiums and lower surrenders compared to 2017, to which were added those of Asia (+ € 487 million), which received a further boost from the drop in surrenders in the quarter, and Germany (+ € 231 million) thanks to both the improvement in premiums and lower surrenders. Italy (- € 934 million) was affected by higher payments deriving from surrenders.
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 decrease 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 in the economic environment.
As a consequence of the actions described above, the new business value (NBV) increased by 4.3% and stood at € 1,877 million (€ 1,820 million at 31 December 2017).