Italy's largest insurer Generali reported first first-half net profit on Thursday that beat market expectations, its strongest half-year performance in five years.
Earnings came in at 1.08 billion euros ($1.4 billion) versus estimates in a Reuters poll of 1.05 billion euros. Operating profit grew to 2.4 billion euros, driven mainly by premium income in its property and casualty (P&C) unit and higher business margins.
Generali, Europe's third largest insurer, has been undergoing a radical transformation since Chief Executive Mario Greco took office last August. The group said on Thursday that its debt had been reduced by 500 million euros to 12.7 billion euros in the first half and it expects a higher operating result for 2013 than it did in the previous year.