PZU sticks to its announced 2020 strategy under new leadership

18 May 2017 — Daniela GHETU
Polish state-run insurer PZU said it will stick to the group's existing strategy under new CEO Pawel SUROWKA, and a dividend payout of at least 50% of net profit this year, reported Reuters.

SUROWKA was appointed CEO of CEE's leading insurer in April, after serving as President of the Management Board of PZU Zycie and was involved in designing the group's strategy. "I am proud that I have been able to co-develop its strategy until 2020 and participate in such key projects as the acquisition of Pekao SA. The consistent implementation of these plans will be my top priority," he said on the occasion of his appointment's announcement.

The strategy includes cost cutting and PZU, which employs more than 23,000 people, announced in March that it planned to cut up to 956 jobs by mid-December.

Chief Financial Officer Tomasz KULIK told Wednesday's news conference that the company still planned to pay more than 50% of net profit in dividends this year, even after setting money aside for potential acquisitions and for its planned PLN 3 billion (USD 795 million) bond issue, announced in March.

PZU's long-term dividend policy assumes that up to 20% of net profit is kept for growth and innovation projects; at least 50% is used to pay dividends, while the rest may be paid out as a dividend, or withheld in the case of takeovers.

"(The dividend policy for this year) provides for an option to withhold part of net profit for an acquisition opportunity. We will probably consider keeping part of this pool, as we have some plans regarding rebuilding our capital position through issuing a subordinated instrument on the Polish market," KULIK said, quoted by Reuters.