Generali Holding Vienna AG

euro adhoc: Generali Holding Vienna AG
Quarterly or Semiannual Financial Statements
The Generali Vienna Group: Premium income rises, costs fall (E)

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The Generali Vienna Group’s first-quarter costs fell by nearly 5 per cent while premium income rose by well over 3 per cent.  Change in listing on 10 June following stock split.

Action taken to achieve important cost reductions, while maintaining continued growth in premium income is already paying off for the Generali Vienna Group, as was underlined by its Interim Report for the first quarter of 2003 (published today).  The group was able to cut its costs by 4.7 per cent to EUR 143.2 million while the group’s insurance operations in Austria and in its seven markets in Central and Eastern Europe (Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Croatia) grew by a total of 3.4 per cent to EUR 799.6 million.  

The rigorous prevention of accumulated burdens, for instance by continuing to apply the strenges Niederstwertprinzip (strict lower-of-book-and-market principle), led to a positive turnaround in first-quarter results compared with the same period of 2002.  Primary insurance business (i.e. without reinsurance) grew by 4 per cent to EUR 748.8 million.  Growth was driven by the property/casualty insurance segment, where first-quarter premium income increased by 8 per cent to EUR 542.3 million, and by the health insurance segment, which grew by 4.3 per cent to EUR 43.8 million.  The life insurance business was further impacted by the prolonged slump in the stock market showing an overall decrease in premium income by 7.5 per cent.

Continuing rapid growth in CEE markets The proportion of the group’s aggregate premium income from primary insurance business accounted for by the Generali Vienna Group’s subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe increased from 19.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2002 to 21.3 per cent in the same period of this year.  Despite the troubled state of some CEE economies, the group’s life insurance business in those countries grew by 7.3 per cent in euro terms, and premium income from non-life insurance lines grew by no less than 16.2 per cent.  In Austria too, the group achieved rapid growth of 5.7 per cent in its non-life insurance business. In life focus was given to regular premium business where the group registered the growth of 1 per cent leading the low-margin single premium segment shrink by 11.1 per cent.

The launch of Generali Bank in Austria goes well Generali Bank has been operational since mid-December 2002, and it has been doing well.  Some 3,000 accounts were already opened for 1,800 customers during the bank’s first three months in business, during which the line consisted of current account and investment products.  Generali Bank has begun securities operations in April and will start loans business in the summer of 2003.

Life insurance: sums insured grew significantly In the group’s life insurance business sums insured grew significantly, expanding by 27.5 per cent to EUR 21.7 billion overall in the 12 months ended 31 March 2003.

Claims and benefits during the first quarter of this year totalled EUR 436.3 million, which translates into an increase of 3.5 per cent on the same period of 2002. Property/casualty insurance lines accounted for over half of the total paid out.

The Generali Vienna Group’s investments totalled EUR 8.26 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2003, which was roughly EUR 18 million more than at year-end 2002.  Current investment income during the first quarter came to EUR 104.3 million, which translates into a year-on-year increase of 1.9 per cent.

The Generali Vienna Group believes that its premium income will grow by approximately 5.5 percent to roughly EUR 2.7 billion this year.

Change in listing on 10 June following stock split The Generali Holding Vienna 1:8 stock split was approved by the General Meeting of Shareholders on 14 May. The change will be recorded in the companies register as of 28 May. Each share will qualify the holder to receive free of charges seven additional shares upon surrender of cupon no. 6 at Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG, A-1010 Vienna, Graben 21, from 10 June on. The pertinent announcement will be made in the Wiener Zeitung newspaper and in the internet on 30 May. The listing on the Vienna stock exchange will be adjusted on 10 June 2003.

end of announcement            euro adhoc 28.05.2003
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Further inquiry note: Generali Holding Vienna AG Josef Hlinka Tel.: (++43-1) 534 01-1375 Fax: (++43-1) 534 01-1593 mailto:josef.hlinka@generali.at http://www.generali-holding.at

Branche: Insurance
ISIN:      AT0000661350
WKN:        066135
Index:    ATX, ATX Prime, WBI
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official dealing
              Berliner Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Bayerische Börse / free trade
              Hamburger Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse / free trade



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