Vienna Insurance Group Shows 15% Increase in Profits

Published: January 25, 2011; 10:40 · (Vindobona)

Significant plus of Group profit for the year (before taxes) by almost 15 percent to about € 505m. Increase of premiums written by 6.1 percent to € 8.7bn.

Vienna Insurance Group Shows 15% Increase in Profits / Picture: © Vindobona.org

“By achieving very remarkable growth rates in a challenging period, we accomplished something quite unexpected in 2010. Both in Austria and in Eastern Europe, we succeeded in boosting premiums significantly. We recorded strong increases, notably in the life insurance segment. Through its banking distribution channel, s Versicherung Group realises its full potential, in particular also in Eastern Europe“, notes Günter Geyer, CEO of Vienna Insurance Group.

He further explains: “We have taken full advantage of the past months to restructure our Group to suit the needs of its new size. Hence, we will meet the requirements of efficient corporate management to an even greater extent. Based on this approach, we continued to improve profitability. We expect an increase in the result for the year 2010 by about 15 percent. The steadily growing contribution of the Group companies outside Austria to the profit for the year demonstrates that our long-term corporate goals materialise. Moreover, we have recently added some elements to expand business in the future. Thanks to the foundation of life insurance companies in Montenegro and Macedonia, we are opening up new markets. We have considerably strengthened our position in Albania. In this context, I would like to mention that our Group meets the capital adequacy requirement by more than 200 percent. The Group therefore has an excellent level of capitalisation.”

Based on preliminary data, Vienna Insurance Group reported unconsolidated premiums written of € 8.7bn in the financial year 2010, corresponding to an increase of 6.1 percent. In the non-life insurance segment Vienna Insurance Group achieved premiums written of € 4.8bn, i.e. a plus of 2.0 percent. After a strong increase of 11.7 percent, the Group’s premiums in the life insurance segment total € 3.9bn.

According to preliminary figures, the Group profit (before taxes, consolidated) predicted for 2010 will amount to about € 505m. This corresponds to an increase by almost 15 percent.

The management of Vienna Insurance Group assumes that the Group’s combined ratio (net, after reinsurance) will amount to about 98 percent in 2010 – despite the heavy burden caused by natural disasters.

The Managing Board plans to propose to the corporate bodies an increase of the dividend from € 0.90 to € 1.0 per share for the financial year 2010. This reflects the steady increase in the Group’s earnings and complies with its long-term dividend policy of distributing at least 30 percent of the Group profit (after taxes and minority interests).

Based on preliminary data, the Austrian Group companies earned premiums of € 4.0bn, reporting a plus of 4.5 percent. In the non-life insurance segment premiums went up by 1.2 percent to a total of € 1.9bn. In the life insurance segment the Group earned premiums of € 2.1bn in Austria. This strong increase of 7.5 percent is mainly due to the strong upward trend in the single-premium business.

The premiums of the three Czech Group companies Kooperativa pojišťovna, a.s., Česká podnikatelská pojišťovna, a.s. and Pojišt’ovna České spořitelny, a.s. climbed significantly by 10.2 percent from the prior-year level to a total of € 1.8bn. With premiums surging by 20.4 percent to € 740.4m, the life insurance business proved to be the growth engine. In the non-life insurance segment premiums earned rose to € 1.1bn.

With preliminary premiums written of a total of € 658.9m, the Slovak Group companies Kooperativa poisťovňa, a.s., Komunálna poisťovňa, a.s. as well as Poist’ovňa Slovenskej sporitel’ne, a.s. achieved a growth of 3.2 percent. A double-digit growth rate of 15.5 percent was reported in the life insurance segment, with premiums totalling € 340.5m. In the non-life insurance segment premiums declined to € 318.4m.

The Polish Group companies of Vienna Insurance Group succeeded in achieving growth rates exceeding the market rate several times. With premiums written of € 753.6m, they achieved a significant increase of 25.7 percent. In the non-life insurance segment the Group recorded an impressive increase of 28.9 percent, with premiums amounting to € 564.9m. In the life insurance segment the Group earned premiums of € 188.7m. This increase by 17.0 percent is mainly due to the strong expansion of the single-premium business.

In Romania Vienna Insurance Group earned premiums of a total of € 536.0m. The yield-oriented portfolio restructuring in the non-life insurance segment led to a total decline of 12.8 percent. In the life insurance business the Group earned premiums of € 93.5m showing a gratifying increase of 8.2 percent, which may be attributed to a large extent to the banking distribution channel. In the non-life insurance segment premiums of € 442.5m were achieved.

At present, the remaining markets of Vienna Insurance Group comprise Albania, Bulgaria, Germany, Georgia, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Hungary, Belarus as well as the three Baltic states. In these countries the companies of Vienna Insurance Group earned premiums written of a total of € 907.3m, corresponding to an increase by 7.5 percent. By taking into account consolidation effects, premiums developed favourably in Ukraine, Macedonia and Turkey.

The management expects a low percentage increase in premiums for the year 2011. Nevertheless, the company aims at increasing the profit before taxes by about ten percent. The prerequisite is, however, that the economic and legal framework will not deteriorate significantly and that there will be no drastic trend in damage caused by natural disasters.

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