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Generali reports increased profit


TRIESTE, Italy—Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. earned first-half profits of €1.8 billion, a 26.7% increase from the same period in 2006.

The insurer's rise in net income was helped by increased profits in both non-life and life business as well as a strong performance from its Toro Assicurazioni S.p.A. unit in Turin, which was acquired last year and was not part of Generali's operations in the first half of 2006, the Trieste, Italy-based insurer said in a statement.

Generali's gross premiums reached €34.4 billion, an increase of 5.1% from the first half of 2006.

Generali also announced its decision to sell Nuova Tirrena S.p.A., a Toro unit, to Paris-based Groupama S.A. for €1.3 billion. Nuova Terrena is a non-life insurer in Rome that reported 2006 premium income of €814 million on business written largely in central and southern Italy.

Groupama said in a statement that the purchase of Nuova Tirrena will further Groupama's commitment to expand outside France and, notably, to strengthen its operations in southern Europe.