Italy’s top insurer Assicurazioni Generali raised its dividend for 2018 after beating its business plan targets and posting growth in net and operating profits.
In a statement on Thursday, the company said it was also well positioned to achieve all the targets in its new business plan to 2021 presented in November.
“Generali has completed the 2015-18 strategic plan exceeding all the targets and successfully concluding its industrial turnaround,” Chief Executive Philippe Donnet said.
Europe’s No 3 insurer has earmarked up to 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) for acquisitions and growth as it looks to asset management and high-margin business in Latin America and Asia to fuel earnings.
Net profit last year rose 9.4 percent to 2.31 billion euros, broadly in line with an analysts’ consensus forecast provided by the company of 2.38 billion euros.
Net operating profit stood at 4.86 billion, slightly above expectations of 4.82 billion.
The company said it would pay a dividend of 0.90 euros per share, up from 0.85 euros the previous year.
The regulatory solvency ratio – a sign of financial strength – grew 9 percentage points from the previous year to 216 percent, while the combined ratio – a key performance benchmark – was steady at 93 percent.
($1 = 0.8836 euros)