UNIQA, FY2019: group's GWP slightly grew 1.2% reaching EUR 5.4 billion

20 February 2020 —
At the end of 2019, for 12 months ended, UNIQA Group scored a consolidated net income of EUR 232 million, 4.5% lower, driven by higher share of non-controlling interest. Earnings before taxes grew 0.4% to EUR 296 million at the end of 2019.

UNIQA FY2019 (12 months) figures, y-o-y changes

  • Gross premiums written: EUR 5,373 million (+1.2%), of which:
    • (WE) Czech Republic: EUR 297 million (+8%), of which:
      • CZ Non-life: EUR 237.5 million
      • CZ Health: EUR 13.8 million
      • CZ Life: EUR 45.7 million
    • (WE) Hungary: EUR 222 million (+4%), of which:
      • HU Non-life: EUR 140.3 million
      • HU Health: EUR 6.6 million
      • HU Life: EUR 75.2 million
    • (WE) Poland: EUR 293 million (-5%), of which:
      • PL Non-life: EUR 269.3 million
      • PL Health: EUR 0.4 million
      • PL Life: EUR 23.0 million
    • (WE) Slovakia: EUR 132 million (-4%), of which:
      • SK Non-life: EUR 95.0 million
      • SK Health: EUR 0.1 million
      • SK Life: EUR 36.9 million
    • (CE) Romania: EUR 97 million (+5%), of which:
      • RO Non-life: EUR 79.4 million
      • RO Health: EUR 0.2 million
      • RO Life: EUR 17.6 million
    • (CE) Ukraine: EUR 104 million (+24%), of which:
      • UA Non-life: EUR 51.2 million
      • UA Health: EUR 23.0 million
      • UA Life: EUR 30.0 million
    • (EE) Albania: EUR 41 million (+9%), of which:
      • AL Non-life: EUR 32.7 million
      • AL Health: EUR 2.1 million
      • AL Life: EUR 5.9 million
    • (EE) Bosnia-Herzegovina: EUR 32 million (+3%), of which:
      • BA Non-life: EUR 12.8 million
      • BA Health: EUR 1.1 million
      • BA Life: EUR 18.5 million
    • (EE) Bulgaria: EUR 66 million (-7%), of which:
      • BG Non-life: EUR 34.0 million
      • BG Health: EUR 7.7 million
      • BG Life: EUR 24.3 million
    • (EE) Croatia: EUR 85 million (+9%), of which:
      • HR Non-life: EUR 49.1 million
      • HR Health: EUR 9.2 million
      • HR Life: EUR 26.3 million
    • (EE) Kosovo: EUR 13 million (+16%), of which:
      • KS Non-life: EUR 9.8 million
      • KS Health: EUR 2.2 million
      • KS Life: EUR 1.1 million
    • (EE) Montenegro: EUR 14 million (+6%), of which:
      • ME Non-life: EUR 11.6 million
      • ME Health: EUR 0.7 million
      • ME Life: EUR 1.9 million
    • (EE) North Macedonia: EUR 16 million (+8%), of which:
      • MK Non-life: EUR 13.0 million
      • MK Health: EUR 0.4 million
      • MK Life: EUR 2.4 million
    • (EE) Serbia: EUR 53 million (+6%), of which:
      • RS Non-life: EUR 30.9 million
      • RS Health: EUR 5.6 million
      • RS Life: EUR 16.1 million
    • (SEE) Russia: EUR 89 million (-11%), of which:
      • RU Non-life: EUR 2.2 million
      • RU Health: EUR 1.5 million
      • RU Life: EUR 84.8 million
  • Premiums earned (retained): EUR 4,861 million (+2.1%)
  • Net investment income: EUR 585 million (+0.0%)
  • Insurance benefits: EUR 3,657 million (+0.6%)
  • Operating expenses (net) : EUR 1,407 million (+7.0%)
  • Insurance technical result: EUR 100 million (-25.2%)
  • Cost ratio (net): 27.2% (+1.3 pp.)
  • Combined ratio (P&C): 96.4% (-0.4 pp.)
  • Earnings before taxes: EUR 296 million (+0.4%)
  • Consolidated profit: EUR 232 million (-4.5%)

Total premiums written by UNIQA increased in 2019 - taking account of the savings portion of unit- and index-linked life insurance of EUR 309.8 million - by 1.2% to EUR 5,372.6 million. As far as insurance based on recurring premiums was concerned, there was a gratifying increase of 1.4% to EUR 5,267.9 million. In contrast, premiums earned in single premium business shrank as planned by 7.2% to EUR 104.6 million.

Premiums written (GWP) in property and casualty insurance grew by 2.6% to EUR 2,846.8 million in 2019. In the reporting period, premiums written in health insurance rose by 4.1% to EUR 1,130.8 million. In life insurance, premiums written - including the savings portion of unit- and index-linked life insurance - decreased by 3.7% in total to EUR 1,394.9 million, due, among other factors, to the planned reduction in single premium business.

Retained premiums earned (in accordance with IFRS) were even up by 2.1% to EUR 4,861.1 million.

Premiums written in the Group's international business fell slightly by 0.2% to EUR 1,561.2 million. Here, recurring premiums rose by 0.2% to EUR 1,481.8 million, while at the same time, single premiums fell as planned by 7.2% to EUR 79.5 million. Per insurance segment:
  • Property & Casualty GWP - primarily driven by a good performance across all segments in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria - rose by 0.9% to EUR 1,076.9 million,
  • Health GWP fell in from a low level by 3.9% to EUR 74.6 million,
  • Life GWP (including the savings portion of unit- and index-linked life insurance) reduced by 2.4% to EUR 409.8 million (2018: EUR 419.7 million) because of the planned decrease in single premium business.

Retained consolidated insurance benefits increased only slightly by 0.6% to EUR 3,657.1 million. Benefits therefore grew slower than the corresponding retained premiums earned (+2.1%).

Total consolidated operating expenses less reinsurance commissions received and profit shares from the reinsurance business increased in financial year 2019 by 7.0% to EUR 1,407.1 million. Other operating expenses included here rose by 8.0% to EUR 499.7 million because of higher costs for personnel and IT. Expenses of EUR 51.4 million were incurred in connection with the innovation and investment programme.

The total cost ratio - the ratio of total operating expenses to premiums earned including the net savings portion of the premiums from unit- and index-linked life insurance - increased in the past year by 1.3 percentage points because of the development presented above to 27.2%.

The combined ratio after reinsurance decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 96.4% (FY2018: 96.8%) due to the relatively low expenses for weather damage despite the increase in costs at Group level.

Despite persistently low interest rates, investment income, at EUR 585.2 million, matched the level of the previous year in 2019.

The investment portfolio of the UNIQA Group (including investment property, financial assets accounted for using the equity method and other investments) increased as at 31 December 2019 compared with the end of the previous year to EUR 20,624.8 million.

The underwriting result of the UNIQA Group decreased significantly by 25.2% in 2019 to EUR 99.5 million. Operating earnings increased slightly by 1.4% to EUR 354.9 million.

UNIQA's earnings before taxes remained virtually unchanged despite the deterioration in the underwriting result, increasing only minimally by 0.4% to EUR 295.7 million. Net profit for the period also grew by 0.6% to EUR 236.5 million in the year under review. In 2019, income tax expenses decreased to EUR 59.2 million, the tax rate amounted to 20.0%.

Equity attributable to the shareholders of UNIQA Insurance Group AG increased in the past financial year by EUR 348.5 million to EUR 3,320.6 million (31 December 2018: EUR 2,972.1 million).

In 2019, the average number of employees (full-time equivalents) at the UNIQA Group rose slightly to 13,038 (FY2018: 12,818). Of this figure, 4,202 were employed in sales positions and 8,836 in administrative roles (FY2018: 4,271 / 8,547).

Andreas Brandstetter, CEO of UNIQA, commented on group's 2019 activity:

"Looking back at 2019, it is clear that the entire Group has performed well: premiums are up, the combined ratio is down, earnings - adjusted for the sale of shares in Casinos Austria - have increased by over 19.5 per cent. This result will allow us, for the eighth time in succession, to propose increasing the dividend this year by one cent to 54 cents per share to the Annual General Meeting."

At the beginning of 2020, UNIQA acquired of the AXA subsidiaries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia: as a result, UNIQA will increase the number of customers by five million, the premiums written by EUR 800 million and the number of employees by around 2,100.

This is also reflected in the annual growth in premiums in the insurance industry: In Austria, it is expected to amount to 1.5 per cent this year, while it is significantly higher in Poland, at 6.2 per cent, in the Czech Republic, at 6.8 per cent and in Slovakia, at 2.7 per cent.

Brandstetter added:

"The expansion is a growth spurt for the Group. We are investing in three growth markets in Eastern Europe, which have over 50 million inhabitants in total and which have recorded far stronger economic growth in recent years than Austria. The potential offered by insurance markets was also a decisive factor driving these acquisitions: in Austria, per capita expenditure for insurance is around EUR 2,000 per year compared with between EUR 400 and EUR 500 in these three countries."

Notations, according to UNIQA reporting:

WE (Western Europe) = Czech Republic + Hungary + Poland + Slovakia
CE (Central Europe) = Romania + Ukraine
EE (Eastern Europe) = Albania + Bosnia and Herzegovina + Bulgaria + Croatia + Kosovo + Montenegro + North Macedonia + Serbia
SEE (Southeastern Europe) = Russia

More financial information about UNIQA Group can be found at irnews-uniqagroup.com.

Source: uniqagroup.com