SAVA, FY2019: group's net profit increased 17%, exceeding EUR 50 million

2 March 2020 — press.release
During 2019, the Sava Insurance Group (SAVA) wrote nearly EUR 600 million in gross premiums and generated a net profit of EUR 50 million. Performance exceeded targets set for 2019, also thanks to a one-off income from a successful acquisition in Croatia, the company mentioned.

Sava Insurance Group FY2019 figures, unaudited, y-o-y changes

  • Net premiums: EUR 549 million (+8.7%)
  • Gross written premiums: EUR 599 million (+9.7%), of which:
    • Reinsurance + Non-life ins.: EUR 509 million (+11.2%)
    • Life insurance: EUR 88 million (+0.9%)
  • Investment income: EUR 20 million (+0.0%)
  • Net claims incurred: EUR 399 million (+24.5%)
  • Operating expenses: EUR 187 million (+5.0%)
  • Operating revenues: EUR 585 million (+10.1%)
  • Net combined ratio: 93.8% (+0.9 pp.)
  • Return on equity: 13.8% (+0.7 pp.)
  • Net result: EUR 50 million (+16.7%)

Gross premium growth was contributed mainly by the Slovenian non-life insurance business (12.2% growth) and the non-life insurance business from abroad (20.3% growth). Part of this came from an acquisition in Croatia - Zavarovalnica Sava acquired 100% of the shares in the companies Ergo Osiguranje and Ergo Zivotno Osiguranje.

The Group's operating revenues grew by 10.1% in 2019, which was driven by higher gross premiums written by existing and new companies, but also contributed to by the full-year operations of the companies Sava Penzisko Drustvo from North Macedonia, the insurance business of Energoprojekt Garant from Serbia and the assistance business of TBS Team 24 from Slovenia, which all joined the Group in the course of 2018. At the end of June 2019, the investment fund manager Sava Infond became part of the Group.

The Sava Insurance Group generated a net profit of EUR 50.2 million in 2019, which is a 16.7% increase over both the previous year's figure and the target for the full year. The increase was driven by the non-life insurance, life insurance and pensions operating segments, partly reduced by the challenging claims experience in the Croatian non-life insurance segment and reinsurance business in international markets. Profitability was additionally supported by the successful acquisitions in Croatia, in which the Group produced a one-off income of EUR 7.5 million from the reversal of badwill due to the difference between the purchase price and the fair value of the acquired net assets.

The Group's performance was also bolstered by better cost-efficiency, with a 1.4-point year-on-year improvement in the expense ratio of the insurance business, primarily reflecting faster growth in premiums over expenses.

Primary insurance mainly saw an increased claims burden in Croatia, where claims rose in motor third-party liability and in motor casco business, as well as owing to the integration of the Croatian Ergo non-life insurer into the Group. The reinsurance segment also experienced a large claims volume in 2019, primarily because of an increased number of catastrophic events - two typhoons in Japan, a hurricane in the Bahamas and certain large fire losses. The claims incurred by the reinsurance segment exceeded those factored in the annual plan.

In order to support its development activities and the optimisation of its capital structure, in October 2019, Sava Re issued 20-year subordinated bonds with an issue size of EUR 75 million and a prepayment option after 10 years. Having integrated all previously acquired companies into the Group, two more deals were signed last year: the acquisition of the health service provider Diagnosticni Center Bled d.o.o. in August, and in December the purchase of NLB Vita, the second-largest life insurer in Slovenia.

Return on equity was 13.8%. In 2019, the Company paid out a dividend of EUR 0.95 per share, providing shareholders with a dividend yield of over 5%. The share price rose by 17.6% in the year, resulting in a 23.2% increase in shareholder value when adding the dividend yield.

In 2019, Standard & Poor's and AM Best reaffirmed Sava Insurance Group's "A"-ratings, with a stable outlook, which makes it easier for the Group to obtain business in international reinsurance markets.

More financial information about Sava Insurance Group can be found at

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