In line with the strategic targets, the operating result for the Group shows an increase (+6.1%), standing at € 4,785 million (€ 4,508 million at 31 December 2014).
In particular, P&C segment increasing by 8.5% in the operating result which benefitted from the improvement in the Group combined ratio thanks to the reduction in claims. The operating result from the life segment stayed solid, at € 2,965 million, despite the current difficult market conditions.
Finally, the operating result in the holding and other businesses segment improved; this segment refers to the activities of the Group companies in the banking and asset management sectors, the costs incurred for the direction, coordination and financing activities, as well as all the other operations that the Group considers to be ancillary to the core insurance business. The positive development of the financial segment was driven by the growth of the results in Banca Generali and China. The increase in the holding expenses was due to the higher costs incurred for both the projects to reinforce the Head Office structures - with reference in particular to the new Solvency II regime transaction and the activities related to implementation of the new Group strategy - in addition to development of the Regional Offices in charge of managing, coordinating and controlling the business in key areas in terms of growth opportunities. These costs were partially offset by revenues for brand royalties recorded starting from the last quarter of this year.
The operating return on equity amounted to 14%, up from 13.2% at 31 December 2014, and exceeding the strategic profitability target of 13%.