The net profit increase was influenced by (1) the decrease in the non-operating result, following the decline in the investment result, mainly relating to EUR 245 million of expenses for the liability management transaction announced in September 2019, (2) the lower impact of taxation, which went from 32.6% to 31.6%, mainly due to the increase in deductible acquisition costs in China and (3) the higher result from discontinued operations, which overall amounted to EUR 475 million from the disposal of Generali Leben and the business in Belgium.
- Gross written premiums: EUR 51,379 million (+3.2%), of which:
- GWP Life: EUR 35,323 million (+2.8%)
- GWP P&C: EUR 16,055 million (+4.3%)
- Operating result: EUR 3,934 million (+9.1%), of which:
- Life: EUR 2,354 million (+5.0%)
- P&C: EUR 1,547 million (+3.1%)
- Asset Management: EUR 268 million (+16.8%)
- Net profit: EUR 2,163 million (+16.6%)
The operating result of the Life segment grew by 5%, reflecting both the development of the technical margin net of insurance expenses and the positive contribution from the investment result.
The operating result of the P&C segment also rose (+3.1%), driven by the technical result, which more than offset the decrease in net current investment income. The combined ratio remained at an excellent level (92.5%; -0.3 pps compared to 9M18) due to the improvement in the non-catastrophe current year loss ratio. Natural catastrophe claims in the period amounted to approximately EUR 262 million, equal to 1.7 pps on the combined ratio (1.5 pps at 9M18).
The operating result of the Asset Management segment grew by 16.8%, mainly following an increase in operating revenues that also reflects the consolidation of the new boutiques.
Group's gross written premiums (GWP) grew by 3.2% compared to last year, standing at EUR 51,379 million.
Life net inflows remained at an excellent level, exceeding EUR 10 billion. The significant growth (+24.5%) reflected the positive performance in almost all the main countries in which the Group operates. In particular, Italy and Asia benefited from fewer surrenders, while France gained from higher premiums. The Group's Life premiums showed an increase of 2.8% resulting from the growth in protection (+8.1%, with growth spread across the countries in which the Group operates) and in savings (+3.2%, thanks to the growth in France and Germany). Unit-linked premiums were down by 6.8%, mainly in Italy, improving the trend witnessed in the first half of the year.
P&C premiums also increased (+4.3%) thanks to the positive performance of both business lines. There was a 2.8% increase in the motor line, mainly due to growth in Austria, CEE & Russia (ACEER), France as well as the Americas and Southern Europe. The non-motor line also grew (+4.3%), reflecting the positive trends across the markets in which the Group operates, in particular in the ACEER region.
New business in terms of PVNBP (present value of new business premiums) stood at EUR 31,275 million, up 7%. The increase was due to the growth in savings (+12.6%) and protection products (+20.7%).
Despite the less favourable financial assumptions, the new business margin on PVNBP remained high at 4.28% (down -0.25 pps) thanks to an improvement in the features of new products and the further recalibration of financial guarantees.
As a result, the New Business Value (NBV) was EUR 1,340 million, a modest increase on the first nine months of 2018 (+1.1%).
Third-party Assets Under Management grew to EUR 161,265 million, primarily due to integration of the new boutiques as well as to the contribution of assets of a number of companies disposed of during the year, previously held by the Group and retained under its management as a result of the sale agreements.
There was an increase in Life technical provisions to EUR 363,328 million (+5.8%), reflecting the growth of net inflows as well as the increase in the unit-linked component driven by financial market performance.
"Generali has achieved strong results in the first nine months of the year thanks to the growth in all business lines. Technical excellence has been confirmed; in particular, in the P&C segment with an outstanding combined ratio and further premium growth as well as in the Life segment, thanks to a solid new business margin and growing net inflows. Within the context of persistent low interest rates, the Group's capital position remains solid."