In the first quarter of 2021, the technical income from the Group's non-life insurance activities (premiums less charges, plus the ceded reinsurance result) was up by 11% on its level in the previous quarter and 31% on the level recorded in the first quarter of 2020. In both cases, this was due mainly to a significant decrease in technical charges. Overall, the combined ratio for the quarter under review amounted to an excellent 78%. Sales of our life insurance products were down 19% on the high level recorded in the previous quarter and up 10% on their level in the year-earlier quarter.
The Group continued to work on implementing its strategy, including the further optimization of our geographic presence. In the first quarter of 2021, KBC reached an agreement for the acquisition of NN's Bulgarian pension insurance and life insurance businesses. "This will allow us to further increase our share of the life insurance market in Bulgaria and to broaden our bank-insurance offering to customers with the addition of high-end pension fund products, while also providing additional cross-selling opportunities for banking and insurance products in a one-stop shop approach. Closure of the deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be finalized in the course of 2021," Johan THIJS explained.
The full information of the Q1 results is available here.