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Originally published Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 1:05 AM

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Generali profit up despite increase in claims

Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali says first-half profits rose 4.5 percent despite an increase in catastrophic claims and recessionary economic conditions in large parts of Europe.

The Associated Press

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MILAN —

Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali says first-half profits rose 4.5 percent despite an increase in catastrophic claims and recessionary economic conditions in large parts of Europe.

Generali on Thursday reported first-half 2012 net profit of (EURO)842 million ($1 billion), up from (EURO)806 million in 2011. It credited the increase to growth in premiums, a strong operating performance and solid returns on investments. The improvement came despite a (EURO)222 million increase in payments for catastrophic events.

Premiums rose 2 percent to (EURO)35.6 billion, driven by non-life insurance business particularly in Germany, central Europe and Latin America. Nearly three-quarters of the premiums for the insurer based in the northeastern city of Trieste were derived outside Italy.

On Wednesday, Generali's board formally appointed Mario Greco, 53, to replace Giovanni Perissinotto as CEO.

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