- Gross written premiums: EUR 10,399 million (+7.7%), of which:
- GWP Austria: EUR 3,943 million (+2.7%)
- GWP Czechia: EUR 1,746 million (+3.7%)
- GWP Slovakia: EUR 799 million (-0.1%)
- GWP Poland: EUR 1,132 million (+26.1%)
- GWP Baltics: EUR 500 million (+33.1%)
- GWP Hungary: EUR 290 million (+9.9%)
- GWP Romania: EUR 468 million (-9.1%)
- GWP Bulgaria: EUR 224 million (+30.7%)
- GWP Turkey/Georgia: EUR 235 million (+18.5%)
- GWP Remaining CEE: EUR 447 million (+19.3%)
- GWP Other markets: EUR 380 million (+18.5%)
- GWP Central Functions: EUR 1,624 million (+2.5%)
- Net earned premiums: EUR 9,318 million (+6.7%)
- Claims and paid benefits: EUR 7,263 million (+4.5%)
- Acquisition and administrative expenses: EUR 2,293 million (+7.1%)
- Combined ratio (net): 95.4% (-0.6 pp.)
- Result before tax: EUR 522 million (+7.4%)
- Net result: EUR 331 million (+23.2%)
The other property and casualty and comprehensive motor business dominated with respect to absolute premium growth. Health insurance recorded the largest percentage increase of around 12%. The non-life sector represents around 58% of the premium portfolio (MTPL, comprehensive motor, other property and casualty insurance), life insurance around 35% (regular premium, single premium products) and health insurance around 7%.
The largest premium gains were recorded in the segments Poland (EUR +234.2 million), Baltic states (EUR +124.5 million), Austria (EUR +103.4 million), Remaining CEE (EUR +72.2 million) and Czech Republic (EUR +61.6 million).
The Baltic States (+33.1%), Bulgaria (+30.7%), Poland (+26.1%) and Remaining CEE (+19.3%) segments stand out in terms of percentage premium growth. In the Remaining CEE segment, Ukraine (+58.2%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (+37.6%) and Serbia (+14.0%) recorded especially large premium growth.
"The markets in the CEE region recorded premium growth of 10.6%. We are now generating 57% of our total premium volume in the CEE region," remarked Elisabeth Stadler, General Manager of VIG.
In 2019, the target range for profit (before taxes) was EUR 500 to 520 million. At EUR 521.6 million, the profit (before taxes) was slightly above the target range and 7.4% higher than the result in the previous year. The increase in profit was due to a clear combined ratio improvement and, among other things, a significant increase in the profits contributed by Austria (EUR +37 million) and Poland (EUR +37 million).
This was offset by a small decrease in the financial result, mainly due to a decrease in the contribution from the non-profit societies resulting from the deconsolidation starting 31 July 2019, and the entire goodwill impairment in the Romania segment in the amount of EUR 108.8 million (previous year EUR 50.1 million). In the course of the annual impairment test, the earnings expectations for Romania were further reduced due to the sustained difficult market situation. With the exception of Romania, all segments earned profits (before taxes). 53% of the profit (before taxes) was achieved in the CEE region.
The strong profit before taxes and a lower tax rate of around 21% led to a significant 23% year-on-year increase in the net result to EUR 331.3 million in 2019. The change in the consolidation method of the non-profit societies in the 3rd quarter of 2019 had no effect on this positive performance.
Group expenses for claims and insurance benefits less reinsurers' share were EUR 7,262.7 million in 2019, representing a year-on-year rise of 4.5%. The increase was due to a significant growth in premium volume.
The combined ratio could be reduced significantly by 0.6 percentage points to an excellent 95.4% in 2019. Measures implemented under the management programme Agenda 2020 had a particularly positive effect, especially in the area of motor insurance. This led to a further improvement in the combined ratio, in spite of an increase in claims payments due to natural catastrophes compared to the previous year.
The segments Austria (-0.7 percentage points), Czech Republic (-0.7 percentage points), Bulgaria ( 3.3 percentage points) and Remaining CEE (-2.7 percentage points) played a major role in the improvement of the combined ratio. All of the segments operated profitably in the property and casualty line of business with the exception of Romania (100.9%), where the combined ratio improved significantly by 6.7 percentage points.
Total investments (including cash and cash equivalents) were EUR 35.9 billion as of 31 December 2019. The decrease compared to 2018 (EUR 37.6 billion) was due to the change of the consolidation method of the non-profit societies.
VIG's solvency ratio was at an internationally comparable level of 210% as of 31 December 2019.
The financial result (incl. the result from at equity consolidated companies) was EUR 1,010.8 million in 2019, representing a small decrease of 2.6% compared to the same period in the previous year.
"We significantly improved our key financial figures for the fourth year in a row. These results confirm our position as market leader in Austria and the CEE region. They also underpin the growth potential in our markets that we have successfully made use of for exactly 30 years. (...) Regardless of the current situation, we will be proposing in the fourth subsequent year to the Annual General Meeting a significant increase of the dividend from EUR 1.00 to EUR 1.15 per share for the financial year 2019 due to the excellent business performance achieved in the previous year. This is an increase of 15% and corresponds to an attractive dividend yield of 4.5%."