2015 has been a rewarding yet also innovative year for Generali and its stakeholders.
The year witnessed the beginning of a new cycle which started with the presentation of the strategic plan based on key elements which are simultaneously distinctive, simple and ambitious. We announced our intentions to focus both on cash generation and dividend growth, as well as position ourselves as a European leader in insurance retail, becoming simper and smarter in offering products and services.
We furthermore planned significant albeit selective investments in technology and data analytics. These are key elements to gain leverage in the future of our industry which is all the more dependent on long-term and interactive partnerships with clients and the ability to listen to them.
In terms of results, in line with our strategic targets, we closed 2015 with a significantly increased net profit of over 2 billion Euro and an operating profit of over 4.7 billion.
The written premiums recorded a total income of over 74 billion Euro. Thanks to these results we are able to distribute a dividend of 72 Euro cents per share to all our shareholders, increased by 12 cents (+20%) compared to the previous year.
2015 was also an important year considering the business results achieved, representing key turning points for us and for our clients, laying the foundation for further progress of the Group among the world leaders in our sector. In Italy we have now completed the integration process which began in 2013, concluding the most extensive reorganisation ever tackled in Europe in the insurance sector. We simplified the existing brands and unified the business structures across the country, creating a single technological platform for the Life and P&C portfolio, guided by the same simplicity principle which is the guiding force of our global and local initiatives. Likewise in Germany we launched a plan aligned within the Group strategy, based on a leaner organization and governance which presents a new Life business approach and a strong focus on smart insurance related to telematics, domotics and the Vitality project. In France, in 2015 we began to reap the benefits from the significant turnaround process started in 2013, with a positive set of results in the different business sectors, confirming the “Customer Centric” reorganisation originally launched.
We also strengthened our position in Central Eastern Europe, where we are now among the major insurers in the region, acting as leader in most of the countries we operate in.
Technology and the ability to be innovative became key elements in responding to the new trends of the insurance market. In this regard, we are implementing a strategy aimed at exploring new opportunities, identifying particularly dynamic companies, starting long-lasting partnerships and collaboration schemes with centres of excellence. To mention just a few, the acquisition of MyDrive, contractual agreements with Obi Worldphones and Microsoft, but also the threeyear partnership with the United Nations’ Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics.
This is a new approach to the regular modus operandi in our sector which expands business horizons and industrial prospects in an ever distinctive backdrop of macro-economic trends. The demographic, social, environmental and climate changes as well as challenges in terms of welfare, new technology and volatile and uncertain financial conditions, now represent the normal operating field for a global player such as Generali, especially after closing the process of focusing on the insurance core business in 2015.
The role of an insurance group is now even more focused on contributing to growth, development and society’s welfare, pursuing the goal of sustainability in terms of business and finance from a social responsibility angle and thus looking at things with the long-term perspective, envisioning the future and well-being of the generations to come. We are now even more aware that we achieved these results thanks to the commitment and the engagement of all our employees, distributors and collaborators, our much appreciated partners, to whom we would like to express the most sincere gratitude.
Gabriele Galateri di Genola Philippe Donnet