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Generali Second-Quarter Profit Falls on Quake Claims

Posted on 31 Jul 2009

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Europe's third-biggest insurer, Assicurazioni Generali SpA, said second-quarter profit fell 27 percent, hurt by claims from the earthquake in the Abruzzo region and storms in Italy, France and Spain.

Net income declined to 400 million euros ($569 million) from 550 million euros a year earlier. Total premiums fell 5.7 percent to 34.7 billion euros, the Trieste, Italy-based company said today in statement.

“The results are in line with the sector and show the company is unlikely to perform better than its competitors,” said Wolfram Mrowetz, who owns Generali shares and manages 200 million euros as chairman of Alisei SIM. “The impact of the earthquake may be felt in the next few quarters as well.”

Claims related to the April 6 quake in central Italy, which killed more than 300 people and left 50,000 homeless, contributed to a 39 percent decline in non-life operating profit, the company said. Generali is also being hurt by a slowdown in its main markets of Italy, France and Germany, and seeking to bolster earnings by expanding in emerging economies such as India and China.

“In a period marked by significant catastrophic events we reached our best results since the financial crisis began,” Chairman Antoine Bernheim said in the statement. While the company “expects six more difficult months,” Generali will be able to reach its goals at the end of the year, he added.