By Pietro Lombardi 
 

Assicurazioni Generali SpA expects a rebound in profitability this year after one-offs in part related to the coronavirus pandemic hit a stable operating performance last year, and said it is on track to meet its strategic targets.

The Italian insurer said Thursday that it expects a return on equity, a key measure of profitability, of more than 11.5% this year, up from the 7.7% it reported for 2020. In 2019, it was 12.4%.

Generali confirmed 2021 targets for earnings growth and cumulative dividends.

Net profit for 2020 fell almost 35% to 1.74 billion euros ($2.08 billion), dragged by one-offs including coronavirus-related impairments and expenses, as well as costs to settle an arbitration.

Operating profit rose 0.3% to EUR5.21 billion, as growing results in property and casualty and asset management offset a decline in the life segment.

"For the second consecutive year, we have achieved the group's best ever operating result," Chief Executive Philippe Donnet said.

"We have entered the final year of our strategic plan and are well positioned to achieve all of the objectives of 'Generali 2021,'" he said.

Generali will propose a dividend of EUR1.47 a share, which includes the 2020 payout and the second part of the 2019 dividend.

The insurer said it will keep seeking investment opportunities in asset management.

 

Write to Pietro Lombardi at pietro.lombardi@wsj.com; @pietrolombard10

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 11, 2021 01:58 ET (06:58 GMT)

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