Sava Re's FY2018 net profit rises 38% y-o-y

The Sava Re Group ended 2018 with a net profit of EUR 43 million, delivering a 13.1% return on equity. In 2018, the Group's equity grew by 7.6% to EUR 340.2 million as of December 31, 2018. The Group's net technical provisions stood at EUR 1.1 billion.

GWP of the Group reached EUR 546.3 million (+ 5.6%) last year, driven by the Slovenian non-life sector (+10.9%), non-Slovenian non-life (+12.5%) and non-Slovenian life insurance business (+17.8%), as unaudited financial results of the Sava Re Group show. Thus, the Group exceeded the lower end of the range of planned GWP of EUR 520 million by 5.1%.

A relatively low incidence of large claims for Sava Re's insurance and reinsurance business in 2018 was reflected in the more favorable incurred loss and combined ratios, as well as in the improved performance. At the same time the expense ratio increased marginally in 2018 partly due to a decrease of reinsurance GWP as well as life GWP (due to the large number of policy maturities). Also, increased new underwritings of life policies pushed up acquisition costs while other operating expenses remained almost unchanged. Higher reinsurance commission expenses also had a negative effect on the expense ratio. But according to the Group "this reflects a shift towards more profitable business with higher commission rates, especially in the current soft reinsurance market".

Sava Re group successfully acquired three companies in 2018:

  • the pension company NLB Nov Penziski Fond, based in North Macedonia and subsequently renamed Sava Penzisko Drustvo;
  • the Serbia-based insurer Energoprojekt Garant, which was merged with the Group's Serbian non-life insurer at the year's end;
  • the Slovenia-based assistance service provider, TBS Team 24.
As the company said, "the smooth integration of these companies has already contributed to better profitability." Three further deals were signed, with the closing of two Croatian ERGO companies in February 2019 and the KMB Infond expected to close in 2019, as Sava Re explained in its announcement. The group has subsidiaries in Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, and Montenegro.

The rating agencies Standard & Poor's and AM Best both raised their financial strength ratings for Sava Re to "A" with a stable outlook, which reflects the Group's strong capital position over a longer period, its improved market position and profitability achieved as a result of its expansion through organic growth and acquisitions.

The consolidated unaudited financial results for 2018 can be found here; a presentation of results and the 2019 Group plan - here. The audited consolidated annual report will be released on April 4, 2019, based on the Group's financial calendar.

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