Banca Generali to meet analysts’ 2010 earnings forecasts
MILAN: Banca Generali SpA, the fund manager controlled by Assicurazioni Generali SpA, Italy's biggest insurer, expects to meet analysts' estimates for 2010 profit after adding clients and lowering costs. Banca Generali's net income will be close to the average estimate of 75 million euros ($99 million) made by 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, Chief Executive Officer Giorgio Girelli said in a phone interview. "We expect to meet analysts' forecasts, helped by lower costs and higher management fees."
The company is forecasting that 2010 operating costs may have dropped 4 percent to 5 percent, with revenue likely in line with the 252 million euros generated in 2009, Girelli said.
Banca Generali, which said on Nov. 5 that nine-month profit rose 32 percent to 60 million euros, is focusing on internal growth and doesn't plan acquisitions. The Trieste, Italy-based company is trying to gain market share in Italy by adding customers from commercial banks.
"Higher net inflows have the same effect as making an acquisition," Girelli said. "At the moment we don't see any interesting opportunity for external growth, our strategy is based on pursuing growing recurring revenue," he said. Higher fee income will offset lower revenue from lending and trading, he said. Girelli is aiming to keep a "generous" dividend policy, though a decision will be taken by shareholders in March. Banca Generali distributed a cash dividend of 45 cents on 2009 earnings. The bank's new clients doubled in the first nine months of the year. The company doesn't disclose the number of its customers. The asset gatherer, which hired about 55 employees this year, aims to add 50 bankers in 2011, Girelli said.
He expects to increase the average investment portfolio of each banker from the current 15 million euros to about 16.5 million euros next year. -Bloomberg