ACHMEA: Exceptional items impact result, fundamentals improved

Willem van Duin, Chairman of Achmea's Executive Board:

"Achmea closed 2016 with a net loss of €382 million, primarily as a result of extraordinary expenses. The result was influenced by events such as the severe hail storms in June last year, which caused in excess of €300 million damage and affected more than 30,000 of our customers. The use of the Health result to limit the increase in premiums also lowered the result. Looking to the future, we have raised the provisions for personal injury claims and have formed a restructuring provision in connection with further changes to our organisation. Finally, there has been an impairment of goodwill of our Turkish insurance operations. Although it is disappointing to end the year with a loss, over the next few years we expect to benefit from the improvements implemented in recent years.

Last year, we completed our three-year Acceleration & Innovation change programme, which has firmly reinforced the fundamentals of our business. We reduced costs by €390 million. Our gross written premiums are increasing as a result of a growing market share in retail non-life insurance and we are seeing more customers opting to take out health insurance with Zilveren Kruis. Internationally, we are witnessing strong commercial performances. And I am proud of the high NPS scores of our Centraal Beheer, Zilveren Kruis and Interpolis brands and an above-average AFM score of 4.0 for customer centricity on a scale to five. This shows that we have also greatly improved our customer focus.

Our solvency has remained strong at 183% before dividend payments, which means that our customers can be assured that we will also be there for them in the future. New guidelines from De Nederlandsche Bank on how companies should calculate the lossabsorbing capacity of deferred taxes (LAC DT) and the legislative proposal relating to restricting the capital of health insurance companies may have an impact on our solvency.

The changes in our group demand much from our employees. We are changing how we work and that calls for employees to adapt accordingly, and for some of our staff, it means that their work has ceased to exist. Since the start of the Acceleration & Innovation change programme, some 3,350 jobs have been reduced in our group and this decline is set to continue over the coming period. We are doing all we can to involve employees whose jobs are uncertain in the change process as early as possible. We are also encouraging everybody to work on their own development and employability. We entered into new agreements for this at the end of last year in our collective labour agreement and social plan.

And we are going further with the innovation of our services as a key focus over the next few years. Our strategy is clear and we will continue to implement it. We will be there in more and more areas that are important for our customers with the insurance policies and services we offer. We are moving from 'compensating for damage or loss' to 'preventing damage or loss' and offering services that make life more pleasant, safer and healthier. Our aim is to be a leading player and to be more and more relevant to our customers." Read the full story

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