UNIQA technical result rose by 58.0% y-o-y in 1Q

2 June 2016 — Vlad BOLDIJAR
UNIQA Group Austria 1Q2016 GWP fell by 15.7% y-o-y, to EUR 1,718.7 million "due to proactive reduction in single premiums in life insurance / Significant rise in premiums in health insurance (+3.1%) and property and casualty insurance (+1.8%) ", as the insurer pointed out in a press release.

At the same time, the Austrian insurer mentioned it mentained its FY 2016 outlook: "earnings before taxes up to 50% lower than record result for 2015 due to high future investments".

Other 1Q2016 indicators and rates were as follows:
  • Net insurance benefits down 25.3% at EUR 1,109.7 million
  • Above-average improvement in combined ratio from 98.8% to 95.8%
  • Technical result rises by 58.0% to EUR 40.1 million
  • Net investment income decreases by EUR 111.7 million to EUR125.5 million (-47.1%) due to one-off effects and further intensification of the low-interest environment
  • Earnings before taxes down by EUR 52.4 million at EUR 41.6 million (-55.7%) as a result of decreased investment income
UNIQA CEO Andreas BRANDSTETTER commented: "The earnings in the first quarter are largely in line with our planning and confirm that we are still continuously improving in our core business, even under challenging conditions. The increase in the technical result and the marked improvement in the combined ratio reflect this development. Although our active decision to reduce single premiums, which are not very profitable but tie up a lot of capital, is currently resulting in a decline in premiums, it will also strengthen our earnings base for the future. Furthermore, the year-on-year decline in premiums will slow down over the coming quarters because we already wrote considerably lower single premiums in the second quarter of 2015 and we expect life insurance business in Italy to pick up again in the quarters ahead. Following the simultaneous occurrence of several negative effects in the first quarter, we also expect investment income to increase again as the year progresses, even if the unstable situation on the capital markets and the historically low interest rates continue to have a negative impact. For 2016 as a whole, we still expect earnings before taxes to be up to 50 per cent lower than the very good earnings for 2015 as a result of the high future investments we have resolved and due to the generally strained economic conditions. We are likewise keeping to our plan to continuously increase the annual distribution per share in the years to come as part of a progressive dividend policy."

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