UNIQA, 1Q2019: Solid earnings before taxes in first quarter

17 May 2019 —
UNIQA Insurance Group made a positive start to 2019, with earnings before taxes of EUR 42.3 million in the first quarter. Total premiums written by the UNIQA Group (including the savings from life insurance) decreased thought, by 0.4 per cent, to EUR 1,530.0 million.

Key figures highlights (compared to Q1 of 2018)

  • Premiums written (GWP): EUR 1,530 million (-0.4%), of which:
    • P&C GWP: EUR 881 million (+1.4%)
    • Health GWP: EUR 289 million (+3.1%)
    • Life GWP: EUR 360 million (-6.8%)
  • Net premiums earned: EUR 1,231 million (+1.7%)
  • Paid insurance benefits: EUR 927 million (-0.7%)
  • Operating expenses: EUR 347 million (+8.4%)
  • Technical result: EUR 34 million (+34.8%)
  • Earnings before taxes: EUR 42.3 million (-40.5%)
  • Consolidated profit: EUR 32.2 million (-39.9%)
  • Combined ratio: 96.3% (- 1.1 pp.)

In international business, premiums written in property and casualty insurance decreased by 4.2 per cent, premiums written in health insurance climbed by 20.1 per cent, while premiums written in life insurance fell by 9.3 per cent. At international level, UNIQA generated written premiums (including savings portions) of EUR 409.7 million, down 4.3 per cent.

In Austria, UNIQA recorded a significant increase in property and casualty premiums of 3.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, health insurance premiums went up by 1.8 per cent, while premiums written in life insurance went down by 5.3 per cent. In Austria, UNIQA generated a growth in premiums written (including savings portions) of 1.0 per cent, to EUR 1,108.6 million.

The total amount of retained insurance benefits of the UNIQA Group fell by 0.7 per cent to EUR 927.0 million in the first quarter of 2019.

Total operating expenses rose by 8.4 per cent, to EUR 346.6 million, while acquisition expenses posted an increase of 8.3 per cent to EUR 226.3 million. Other operating expenses (administrative expenses) increased by 8.5 per cent to EUR 120.4 million in the first quarter of 2019.

The total cost ratio, less reinsurance commissions received, increased to 26.8 per cent. The combined ratio after reinsurance improved by 1.1 percentage point to 96.3 per cent, despite increased costs from the long-term investment programme and increased claims due to exceptionally large snowfalls in Austria.

The investment portfolio of the UNIQA Group increased by 4 per cent as at 31 March 2019 compared with the end of the previous year to EUR 20,102.7 million. Investment income fell by 28.0 per cent to 100.6 million.

In Q1 of 2019, UNIQA increased its technical result by 34.8% to EUR 34.0 million in the first quarter of 2019, primarily due to the higher premium volume and lower life insurance benefits.

The operating result, on the other hand, decreased by 33.7% to EUR 56.1 million. This was the result of reduced investment income - triggered by the one-time gains on disposal of EUR 47.4 million in the first quarter of 2018. This also drove earnings before taxes down by 40.5% to EUR 42.3 million. The previous year's figure - adjusted for one-time gains on disposal from the sale of the interest in Casinos Austria Aktiengesellschaft - was EUR 23.7 million.

Consolidated net profit decreased by 39.9 per cent to EUR 32.2 million (1-3/2018: EUR 53.6 million).

Andreas BRANDSTETTER, CEO of UNIQA Group, commented on the results:

"The positive result of the first three months of 2019 is a solid basis for the year as a whole. We can therefore confirm our outlook: overall, UNIQA expects an improvement in earnings before taxes for the 2019 financial year - adjusted for the one-off effect from the sale of Casinos Austria Aktiengesellschaft - and plans to increase the dividend payment per share again as part of UNIQA's unchanged progressive dividend policy."

Full report can be found here (English):