In the course of 2020, the impact of the Covid-19 health crisis has been felt in several sectors of activity. The insurance sector has not been spared this reality. Indeed, the Italian insurer Generali suffered from the effect of the pandemic during the 2020 financial year. However, it has shown a good resistance to it. Despite this difficult crisis context, the company performed well, particularly in terms of its operating profit, which reached a record level.
The Generali Group experienced enormous difficulties in the conduct of its business during the first part of 2020. This was mainly due to the impact of the Covid-19 health crisis. The pandemic that affected several companies during this period did not spare the Italian insurer.
In the first half of 2020, the company saw its net profit fall by 56.7% year-on-year to 774 million euros. It was penalised by the effect of non-recurring events. 226 million in impairment charges recorded as a result of stock market volatility related to the coronavirus epidemic.
183 million loss incurred in connection with the settlement of an arbitration. In H1-2020, the group generated an operating profit of EUR 2.71 billion. The company's solvency ratio stood at 194% at the end of June 2020, down 2 points.
In the financial year 2020, the Generali Group achieved annual revenues of €70.7 billion, compared to €69.8 billion in 2019. This means that it grew by 0.7% over the one-year period. It also exceeded the market's expectations of €69.97 billion.
In 2020, the insurer recorded a record operating profit. 5.2 billion for the year as a whole, up 0.3% year-on-year. This is the highest operating profit in the company's history. The impact of the coronavirus health crisis on this indicator was estimated at -123 million euros.
The increase in operating profit was driven by increases of 19.4% and 28.5% in the Property & Casualty and Asset Management segments respectively. It was also supported by the acquisitions made by the group during the year under review.
These various factors enabled the company to offset the 16.1% decline in the life insurance segment in the year under review. The Italian group's net profit for the year was EUR 1.74 billion. 1.74 billion, down 34.7% year-on-year. This decline is due in particular to the effects of the pandemic on the economy.
However, this result is in line with market expectations. In addition, the net profit was penalised by depreciation on investments valued at 287 million euros. It was also burdened by an amount of 100 million euros that the company allocated to an extraordinary international fund. The purpose of the fund was to fight the epidemic.
At the end of December 2020, the Generali Group's economic solvency ratio stood at 224%. It remained at the same level as in the previous year. This illustrates the financial strength of the company at the end of the 2020 financial year.
After an excellent financial year 2019, the Generali Group continued its efforts to achieve the objectives of its 2019-2021 strategic plan. The performance recorded during the 2020 financial year perfectly illustrates the company's commitment to the realisation of this plan.
Indeed, the results published for the 2020 financial year are in line with the group's outlook under this plan. The Italian insurance giant was counting in particular on the development of asset management to accelerate its growth in terms of market capitalisation.
During the publication of its 2020 annual results, the insurer also reconfirmed its objectives defined in the plan. Amongst these, it expects to increase earnings per share. This should be in the range of 6% to 8% each year over the period 2019-2021. Over this time, the group expects cumulative dividends to reach between EUR 4.5 and 5 billion.
At the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders held on 29 April 2021, the Generali Group proposed the payment of a dividend of 1.47 euro per share in 2020. This will be paid in two tranches: EUR 1.01 and EUR 0.46. The first instalment constitutes the ordinary dividend distribution from the 2020 net result.
It was paid from 26 May 2021. The second tranche represents the payment of the second part of the 2019 dividend. It had been reported as a deferral. Its payment should start on 20 October 2021.
In addition, Generali is one of the stocks that is well watched by investors or traders on the stock markets. The company is listed on the NYSE ARCA market in the Netherlands. It is also included in the FTSE MIB stock index. In 2020, the company had a market capitalisation of approximately 30 billion euros.
Founded in 1831, Generali is an Italian company operating in the insurance sector. The group is recognised as the leader in this field in Italy. It is one of the major players in insurance and asset management on an international scale.
In addition, the company offers its services in life insurance and other insurance categories such as car, health and home insurance. It is also active in asset management. In addition, the group is active in banking and real estate.
It is present in almost 50 countries and has more than 72,000 employees worldwide. They serve more than 65 million customers worldwide. In addition to being a major player in Europe, the Generali group is also very well known in Latin America and Asia.