(Recasts, adds detail, CEO)
MILAN Nov 23 Italy's biggest insurer Generali
stuck to its 2018 targets on Wednesday as it looks to
leave unattractive markets and cut costs to boost profit and
The insurer, which generates most of its revenue and
earnings in Italy, France and Germany, said it would generate 1
billion euros ($1.06 billion) by 2018 by exiting less profitable
It also said it would reduce operating costs by 200 million
euros in mature markets over the 2016-19 period.
On Tuesday sources told Reuters that Generali was
considering shedding up to 8,000 jobs outside of Italy.
"Our goal is leadership in our chosen markets, not measured
by size but by profitability," CEO Philippe Donnet said.
Europe's third-largest insurer confirmed it would generate
more than 7 billion euros in cash by 2018 and distribute more
than 5 billion euros in dividends.
Persistently low interest rates in Europe are pressuring
insurers' investment income and many companies are seeking to
offset this through improved product design and efficiency.
Generali said it aims to change the business mix of its life
operations by shifting to more capital-light products.
Compared with its main rivals the Italian insurer is more
focused on traditional life products and less on unit-linked or
($1 = 0.9398 euros)
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Agnieszka Flak and