MILAN, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Italy’s second largest insurer UnipolSai confirmed its business plan targets on Friday and hiked its dividend after 2019 normalised earnings rose.
In a statement, the insurer said net profits for the year, stripping out one-off charges relating to staff layoffs, were up 3.2% at 721 million euros ($781 million). Earnings in 2018 had included a capital gain of 309 million euros from a disposal.
Net premiums for the year rose around 21% to 13.3 billion euros, boosted by a buoyant life sector which offset flat auto business due to pricing pressure.
The solvency ratio, a key measure of financial strength, stood at 250%, up from 202% in 2018, it said.
The insurer, which is almost 80% owned by Bologna-based holding Unipol Group, said it would propose a dividend of 0.16 euro per share, up from 0.145 euros a year earlier.
$1 = 0.9229 euros Reporting by Andrea Mandalà; editing by Stephen Jewkes