VIG's GWP increased by 3.1% in 1H/2011. CEE markets account for more than 50% of premiums

17 August 2011 — Vlad BOLDIJAR
gunter_geyer4In first six months of 2011, VIENNA Insurance Group (VIG) earned a total of EUR 4.7 billion premiums written, up 3,1% compared to January-June 2010. Also, the profit (before taxes) amounted to EUR 282.2 million, representing an 10.4% increase compared to 1H/2010. According to the press release, the group combined ratio after reinsurance came in at 97.1% for the first half-year of 2011, following 98.3% for 1H/2010.

"VIG continued to show a strong, highly stable development in the first half-year of 2011. Premiums grew by 3.1%, a rate slightly higher than the first quarter. Profit before taxes rose by 10.4% to EUR 282.2 million, showing that we are well on our way to achieving our target of a 10% increase", stated Gunter GEYER, CEO of VIENNA Insurance Group.

By lines of business, EUR 2.6 billion of the total GWP were in property/casualty, up 7.6% compared to January-June 2010. Also, the group companies of VIG wrote approximately EUR 2 billion (down 2.7%) in life insurance premiums. In the health insurance segment, VIG achieved premiums written of EUR 180.7 million, representing an increase of 9.6%.

"Life insurance posted a small drop in Austria, while the Czech Republic showed strong growth. Non-life premium income rose sharply by 7.6%, with particularly pleasing results in Poland, where growth was 19.4%", added Gunter GEYER.

By countries, the "home market" generated about 47% of total GWP (EUR 2.2 billion) divided as follows: Premiums written in property/casualty grew 7.7% to more than EUR 1 billion. Also, the life insurance premiums dropped by 14.0% to approximately EUR 1 billion, while the health insurance generated GWP of EUR 169.3 million.

After Austria, the largest insurance market for VIG was Czech Republic, where was spectacular business growth: 12% in premiums written to EUR 973.7 million. Also, the VIG companies in the Czech Republic achieved a market share of 30% in the first half-year of 2011, making them number 1 in the insurance market.

VIG has recorded the highest growth rate in Poland: 43.7% in premiums written to EUR 498.1 million. In Poland also, the VIG companies recorded the highest growth-rate of profit before taxes: it rose 140.3% compared to first half-year 2010 to EUR 24.6 million.

In Slovakia, The VIG increased premiums written by 3.9% to EUR 339.0 million, representing about 7.2% of group business. Here, the group companies increased market share to 32.2% in the first half-year of 2011, thereby consolidating their position as number 1 in the Slovakian insurance market.

In Romania, the Government austerity measures affected the economy, in particular the insurance market by the enormous loss of the motor leasing business. In light of this, first half-year 2011 premiums rose slightly by 0.6% to a total of EUR 275.8 million and EUR 1.6 million profit before taxes.

"The success of our CEE strategy is shown by the fact that the profit contribution from these markets already exceeds that from Austria", stated the CEO of VIG.

The group companies from the "remaining markets" (Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine) wrote EUR 410.3 million in premiums.

Non-life premiums written surged by 16.5% to EUR 270.4 million while life insurance premiums declined to EUR 139.9 million principally due to a drop in single premium business in Liechtenstein.

"In my view, we can be very proud that these results position the group among the top performers in the European competitive environment, added Gunter GEYER.

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