VIG: Strong growth in premiums in profitability on the CEE markets sustain the Group's performance

CEE markets' contribution to VIG-VIENNA Insurance Group's results grew, both in GWP and profit terms, in 1H2012. Thus, premiums unwritten in the CEE markets represent 53.8% of the total group's volume, 3pp more y-o-y, amounting EUR 2.84 billion. Also, the contribution of the CEE markets to the overall profit before takes figure grew from 46.5% in 1H2011, to 49.4% in 1H2012. In absolute terms, the profit before takes recorded by the CEE subsidiaries of VIG amounted EUR 148.91 million, 13.6% up as y-o-y. VIG companies are markets leaders in Austria and 3 of the 9 core CEE markets: Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. "This proves once more that we are pursuing the right strategy as the largest international insurance group in this region", said Peter HAGEN, Chairman of the Managing Board and CEO of VIENNA Insurance Group.

OVERVIEW OF KEY GROUP DATA FOR THE FIRST HALF-YEAR OF 2012 (in accordance with IFRS)

In the first half-year of 2012 VIENNA Insurance Group earned (consolidated) premiums written totalling EUR 5.3 billion; this equals to an increase of 11.7 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

Group profit (before taxes, consolidated) amounted to EUR 301.7 million in the first half-year of 2012. This corresponds to a significant growth by 6.9 percent compared to the prior-year period.

Group profit after taxes and minority interests rose even more strongly, i.e. by 7.5 percent to EUR 231.3 million.

The Group's combined ratio after reinsurance (excluding investment income) decreased to an excellent 96.6 percent in the first half-year of 2012 - and is therefore considerably below the 100-percent threshold.

The investments of the Group, including cash and cash equivalents, amounted to EUR 29.1 billion as of 30 June 2012. Increasing by 4.9 percent, the financial result totalled EUR 581.4 million.

II. GROUP DATA BY SEGMENTS FOR THE FIRST HALF-YEAR OF 2012 (consolidated)

In the property/casualty segment premiums written amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, rising by 2.4 percent.

In the life segment the VIENNA Insurance Group companies earned premiums of EUR 2.5 billion; strong growth in Poland made a major contribution to this plus of 24.1 percent.

In health insurance VIENNA Insurance Group reported an increase in premiums written by 7.5 percent to EUR 194.2 million.

III. GROUP DATA BY REGIONS FOR THE FIRST HALF-YEAR OF 2012 (consolidated)

Austria
  • The VIENNA Insurance Group companies in Austria earned premiums written of about EUR 2.3 billion; this corresponds to an increase by 4.5 percent. In the property/casualty segment premiums written went up by 11.3 percent to an amount of EUR 1.2 billion. Life insurance premiums declined by 2.2 percent to a total of EUR 999.4 million.
  • Profit (before taxes) amounted to EUR 144.3 million, increasing by 3.0 percent.
  • The combined ratio stood at a very favourable level of 93.5 percent.
Czech Republic
  • The Group companies in the Czech Republic earned premiums written of EUR 927.8 million.
  • In non-life premiums written amounted to EUR 523.5 million. In life premiums written totalled EUR 404.2 million.
  • The VIENNA Insurance Group companies are the number one in the insurance market of the Czech Republic, holding a market share of 30.2 percent. 
  • Profit (before taxes) increased by 1.7 percent to EUR 92.9 million.
  • The combined ratio achieved a very satisfactory level of 93.9 percent.
Slovakia
  • The Group companies in Slovakia raised their premiums written by 5.6 percent to EUR 358.1 million.
  • Increasing by 2.8 percent, premiums written in the non-life insurance segment amounted to EUR 176.0 million. The life insurance reported a growth in premiums written by 8.6 percent to a total of EUR 182.1 million.
  • The VIENNA Insurance Group companies strengthened their position as the number one in the Slovak insurance market, holding a market share of 34.1 percent.
  • Profit (before taxes) climbed by 2.6 percent to EUR 29.3 million.
  • The combined ratio stood at 95.8 percent.
Poland
  • In the Polish market the Group companies of VIENNA Insurance Group earned premiums written of EUR 952.2 million, increasing substantially by 91.2 percent. This significant growth in premiums was driven by the strong demand in the life insurance segment, especially in the business with single-premium products sold via banks.
  • The non-life segment achieved premiums written of EUR 302.4 million. Thanks to a significant plus, the life insurance earned premiums written of EUR 649.8 million.
  • Profit (before taxes) increased by 14.0 percent to a total of EUR 28.0 million compared to the same period of the previous year.
  • Decreasing by about 2 percentage points to 98.0 percent, the combined ratio remained clearly under the 100-percent threshold.
Romania
  • Reporting premiums written of EUR 235.7 million, the Romanian group companies remain the number one in the insurance market.
  • Due to restructuring the portfolio, premiums written declined to EUR 184.1 million in the non-life segment. Life insurance premiums written grew by 2.1 percent to EUR 51.6 million.
  • A loss of EUR 4.1 million was reported in the first half-year of 2012.
  • The combined ratio stood at 110.4 percent.
Remaining markets
  • Remaining markets includes the countries Albania, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Hungary and Georgia.
  • In this segment the VIENNA Insurance Group companies earned premiums written of EUR 477.3 million, growing strongly by 16.3 percent. Non-life premiums written increased by 10.3 percent to EUR 298.2 million. The life segment reported a rise in premiums written of 28.0 percent to EUR 179.1 million. 
  • Profit (before taxes) amounted to EUR 11.4 million.
  • The combined ratio was slightly above 100 percent.
IV. OUTLOOK

In 2012 the focus will remain on strengthening organic growth - by promoting business with existing companies. This will, however, not exclude the possibility of acquisitions rounding off the portfolio. VIG set itself the goal of growing above market average in the next few years. The Management of VIENNA Insurance Group has committed itself to keeping volatilities as low as possible by taking into account the economic background. The Austrian group also strives to identify cost-cutting potentials on an ongoing basis and to use them to the best advantage.

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