Europe’s third-largest insurer said it would pay a dividend of 0.90 euros per share, up from the previous year’s 0.85 euros.
When it came to a potential European slowdown in 2019, however, Donnet said Generali was not concerned. He explained that people sought out the solutions Generali provided whether the economy was booming or lagging.
“Our business is very resilient, because when people do invest and the economy is growing, the property and casualty business is growing,” he said. “But when people do not invest because the economy is not growing, the life insurance business and asset management is growing.”
However he noted heavy competition in its domestic market, especially with motor insurance, adding that it was “challenging.”
“In Italy and France, by the way, we had to face very important claims … which obviously had a significant impact on the operating result,” he added.
Donnet also claimed that Generali’s 59 billion euros in Italian BTPs was not a concern to investors.
“(Investors) do not struggle any more on this — we have demonstrated that we have a strong capital position. We have further increased our solvency ratio by 9 percentage points, so our exposure to BTPs is no longer an issue,” he told CNBC.
Generali has reserved up to 4 billion euros for acquisitions and growth as it looks to asset management and high-margin business in Latin America and Asia.
Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect that Donnet claimed that Generali’s 59 billion euros in Italian BTPs was not a concern to investors. The headline has also been changed on this story to more accurately reflect Generali’s earnings release.