Business activity was up for property and casualty insurance (+1.1%), where the Group generated EUR 7.4 billion in premium income at 31 December 2019, and for life and health insurance (+2.4%), with premium income reaching EUR 6.8 billion.
- Premium income: EUR 14,381 million (+1.7%), of which:
- France P&C: EUR 5,755 million (+2.4%)
- France L&H: EUR 6,102 million (+2.8%)
- International P&C: EUR 1,623 million (-3.2%)
- International L&H: EUR 734 million (-0.4%)
- P&C net combined ratio: 97.0% (-2.3 pp.)
- Solvency 2 ratio: 302% (+5 pp.)
- Operating income: EUR 413 million (+38.6%)
- Net income: EUR 345 million (-23.3%)
International property and casualty (P&C) insurance premium income totalled EUR 1,623 million, a 3.2% decrease from the previous period. The motor insurance segment saw a decline of -7.4%, coming exclusively from the Italian subsidiary, masking the strong growth generated by other countries in this sector. Business increased in the business property damage (+7.2%) and home (+4.4%) insurance segments.
In international life and health (L&H) insurance, premium income totalled EUR 734 million, down slightly by -0.4%. The individual life and health insurance segment remained stable over the period. The good performance of the protection insurance segment (+3.5%), particularly in Hungary, and the health business (+11.4%), driven by group health in Romania, offset the decline in individual savings/pensions (-2.9%).
The Group's economic operating income increased to EUR 413 million, up 38.6% (+EUR 115 million). It includes EUR 466 million in economic operating income from insurance at 31 December 2019 (FY2018: EUR 354 million).
L&H economic operating income was EUR 353 million, up 25.2% y-o-y. This increase is attributable mainly to the improved current loss experience in health and personal accident insurance.
P&C economic operating income was EUR 113 million, an increase of EUR 41 million. The net non-life combined ratio was 97.0% (FY2018: 99.3%). This decrease is partly related to the change in the Group's estimate of its technical reverses to reflect the persistence of low rates and the higher frequency of weather events.
The economic operating profit from banking and financial businesses amounted to EUR 38 million, and the Group's holding business posted an economic operating loss of EUR 90 million at 31 December 2019.
The transition from economic operating income to net income includes non-recurring items, including goodwill impairments of -EUR 183 million, mainly relating to the Italian subsidiary, and exceptional realised capital gains of EUR 354 million, mainly due to the sale of a building in Paris on avenue des Champs-Elysees.
The Group's overall net income totalled EUR 345 million at 31 December 2019 (FY2018: EUR 450 million).
The Group's IFRS equity totalled EUR 10.2 billion at 31 December 2019, up 15.2%, reflecting in particular the increase in unrealised capital gains on financial assets and the contribution of net income. Group's IFRS equity also includes the mutual certificates issued by Groupama since the end of 2015 for EUR 600 million, of which EUR 60 million issued in 2019. Following the successful issue of EUR 500 million in subordinated instruments in September 2019 and the early redemption of redeemable subordinated instruments issued in 2009 for EUR 500 million, subordinated debt both recognised and not recognised in Group's IFRS equity totalled EUR 2.7 billion at 31 December 2019, a stable amount compared with 2018.
Insurance investments totalled EUR 91.1 billion at 31 December 2019 compared with EUR 85.2 billion at 31 December 2018, a 6.9% increase. The Group's unrealised capital gains were EUR 10.9 billion at 31 December 2019, including EUR 7.4 billion from the bond portfolio, EUR 1.2 billion from the equity portfolio, and EUR 2.3 billion from real estate assets.
At 31 December 2019, the Solvency 2 ratio was 178%, without transitional measure on technical reserves. The 11-point increase in this ratio compared with 2018 incorporates the recognition of policyholders' surplus reserves in accordance with the regulatory provisions. The Solvency 2 ratio, incorporating the transitional measure on technical reserves authorised by the ACPR, is 302%.
"2019 was marked by economic and social uncertainty. We were also not spared by weather events, with alternating high temperatures, droughts, and floods. In this challenging environment, Groupama delivered very satisfying results, driven by the profitable organic growth of its regional mutuals. This performance highlights the soundness of our mutualist model and the engagement of our elected representatives and employees."
Thierry Martel, CEO of Groupama Assurances Mutuelles, commented:
"In 2019, Groupama once again demonstrated its ability to grow and face a complex environment of both risks and opportunities. The increases in our premium income, operating income, and solvency resulted from very good technical and cost control while anticipating and responding to the needs and practices of our members and customers."