Generali First-Quarter Premiums Rise 6 Percent on Life Business

Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G), Italy’s largest insurer, said first-quarter gross premiums rose 6.1 percent on a like-for-like basis, boosted by life insurance.

Total premiums increased to 19.8 billion euros ($26.3 billion) in the three months through March, from 19.1 billion euros in the first quarter of 2011, Chief Executive Officer Giovanni Perissinotto told a shareholders’ meeting today in Trieste. Life premiums rose by 6.9 percent while non-life premiums rose by 4.7 percent in the period, he said.

“We had a positive start to the year and we will try to improve further in the coming months,” Perissinotto said.

The company, scheduled to release results on May 11, said in March it expects “strong” profit growth this year. “If the market is less negative than last year, net income in 2012 should be in the range of 1.5 to 1.8 billion euros,” Perissinotto said separately in an interview with Trieste-based newspaper Il Piccolo published today.

The insurer is expanding in emerging markets and eastern Europe to boost earnings following the financial crisis, while cutting costs, improving efficiency and selling assets to strengthen capital.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sonia Sirletti in Milan at ssirletti@bloomberg.net Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at ltotaro@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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