"VIG Group business development is continuing at the level before the coronavirus pandemic. The significant increase both in premium volume and in profit was achieved in an environment that remains challenging, as the pandemic continued during the first half of the year and affected our everyday life to varying degrees. I consider our business model, which gives all regional Group companies the entrepreneurial freedom needed to tailor products and solutions to meet local needs, as a positive factor in our stable development. It allows us, as the largest international insurance group in Central and Eastern Europe, to act quickly and individually in the different situations in each country in our region", explains CEO Elisabeth Stadler.
Premiums increase to EUR 5,773 million
Premium volume followed a significant upward trend in spite of the varying effects of Covid-19 in VIG markets, rising 3.5% to EUR 5,773 million. With the exception of single premium life insurance, all lines of business recorded premium increases. Premiums grew particularly strongly in the other property and casualty line of business, rising 5.7% to EUR 2.9 billion. In the motor lines of business, premiums increased significantly by 7.3% to EUR 709 million for own damage insurance and 3.7% to EUR 810 million for third party liability insurance. Health insurance premiums rose to EUR 368 million (+3.3%). While regular premium life insurance saw premiums increase to EUR 1,362 million (+1.9%), in line with strategy, single premium life insurance recorded a decline of 6.7% to EUR 446 million. The largest premium increases were achieved in the segments Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Hungary.
Expenses for claims and insurance benefits less reinsurers' share were EUR 3.6 billion, 0.9% higher compared to the same period in the previous year.
Result before taxes increases 25%
The result before taxes of EUR 251.4 million was 25% above the value in the previous year and includes provisions for Covid-19 and adverse weather events. The result after taxes and non-controlling interests was EUR 186.3 million for the first half of 2021, up by 47.5%.
The VIG Group regulatory solvency ratio was 267% as of 30 June 2021, indicating that capital resources remain very strong and stable. The financial result (incl. the result from at equity consolidated companies) was EUR 353.6 million in the first half of 2021, 8.9% below the previous year. The decrease was mainly due to a reduction in realised gains and losses. The return on equity before taxes improved from 9.1% to 11%. The VIG Group had EUR 37.5 billion in investments as of 30 June 2021.
Combined ratio further improved
The VIG Group combined ratio of 95.2% was 0.3 percentage points lower than the previous year. This improvement was achieved in spite of the noticeable effects of weather-related claims towards the end of June 2021 due to an overall improved claims development and further measures implemented since "Agenda 2020" and in the new "VIG 25" strategy programme to improve the combined ratio.
Outlook for 2021
In addition to the ongoing pandemic and great uncertainty about the further course and impact of the rapidly spreading delta variant, other natural disasters, such as the flooding seen in July, could also affect business development in the second half of 2021. "However, we are confident that we will achieve our targets for 2021, not least because of our prudent reserving policy. Therefore, we can confirm our forecast of achieving around EUR 10.4 billion for premium volume and a profit before taxes in the range of EUR 450 million to EUR 500 million. Our combined ratio is expected to be around 95%", states Elisabeth Stadler, confirming the forecast for 2021.