Vienna Insurance Group

EANS-News: VIENNA INSURANCE GROUP WITH STABLE PREMIUM DEVELOPMENT IN 2015

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Financial Figures/Balance Sheet/Results and Embedded Value for the year 2015

* EUR 9.0 billion in Group premiums
* Combined ratio at solid 97.3 percent
* Significant increase in Group Embedded Value
   
Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) records solid premium performance in 2015. EUR
9.0 billion in gross written premiums. The 1.4 percent decrease in premium
volume was primarily due to the ongoing low level of interest rates and the
resulting restraint exercised with respect to sales of single-premium life
insurance products. Premiums from regular-premium life insurance recorded
excellent growth of 4.9 percent. Adjusted for single-premium business, Vienna
Insurance Group achieved premium growth of 2.2 percent. 

The result for financial year 2015 was adversely affected by a reduction in
current financial income due to the continued low level of interest rates.
Earnings were also reduced by one-off effects, such as the write-down of IT
systems and impairments of goodwill and insurance portfolios. Profit (before
taxes) reached EUR 172.1 million. Earnings per share were EUR 0.66.
 
Due to a solid underwriting result the combined ratio was 97.3 percent, only
marginally higher than the previous year's value of 96.7 percent.
 
The Group financial result of around EUR 1.1 billion was affected by a decrease
in current financial income due to the low-interest rate environment.
Investments (including cash and cash equivalents) were EUR 31.8 billion at the
end of 2015, corresponding to an increase of 2.2 percent.

The Group Embedded Value (after taxes) grew significantly by 8.1 percent to EUR
6.5 billion in 2015, despite a challenging environment.[1]
 
VIG's A+ rating with a stable outlook from Standard & Poor's continues to be the
best rating of any company in the ATX Index.
 
The Managing Board will propose a dividend of EUR 0.60 per share for the
financial year 2015 to the statutory bodies. This represents a dividend payout
ratio of around 78 percent of Group net profits after minority interests.



Regular-premium life insurance records significant growth
 
51.0 percent of the total premium volume in 2015 was attributable to property
and casualty insurance, 44.6 percent to life insurance and 4.4 percent to health
insurance.
 
  
Vienna Insurance Group companies raised premium volume in the property and
casualty area by 0.8 percent to EUR 4.6 billion. The corporate business (+7.0
percent) and SME business (+6.0 percent) recorded excellent growth. The premium
increases in Romania (+21.4 percent) and the "Remaining Markets" (+7.3 percent)
were particularly noteworthy. Overall growth was achieved in spite of the
restrictive underwriting policy successfully implemented in Italy and the
selective motor vehicle underwriting policy that continued in Poland.
 
Life insurance generated EUR 4.0 billion in premiums in 2015, representing a
drop of 4.2 percent compared to the previous year. "The decrease is solely due
to intentional restraint in the single-premium business. Premiums from regular-
premium life insurance products recorded a very good increase of 4.9 percent",
explained Elisabeth Stadler, Chairwoman of the Managing Board of VIG.
 
In health insurance, Vienna Insurance Group wrote EUR 398 million in premiums,
representing an increase of 3.0 percent. Most of the health insurance business
is attributable to Austria.
 
 

Central and Eastern Europe on course for continued success
 
Vienna Insurance Group continued to maintain its targeted CEE strategy in the
financial year just ended. "The rapid economic recovery in many markets of the
region compared to Western Europe confirms that our decision to operate in
Central and Eastern Europe was correct. The results speak for themselves.
50 percent of Group premiums are generated in the CEE region. The VIG markets in
Central and Eastern Europe contribute 55 percent of profits before taxes",
stressed Elisabeth Stadler. VIG also continued its expansion with successful

acquisitions in the Baltic region and Bulgaria in 2015.
                                        
                                  
Results in the regions

 
Undisputed top position in Austria
 
Group companies Wiener Städtische, Donau Versicherung and s Versicherung create
a strong foundation for Vienna Insurance Group in Austria. Its market share of
23.7 percent makes it the undisputed number 1 in the Austrian insurance market.
The companies wrote gross premiums of around EUR 4.1 billion in 2015,
representing a marginal decrease of 0.5 percent compared to the previous year.
Around EUR 2.4 billion of the premium volume was generated by Wiener Städtische,
EUR 812 million by Donau Versicherung and EUR 858 million by s Versicherung.
 
VIG significantly improved its profitability in Austria, raising profits (before
taxes) to EUR 213.0 million (+25.5 percent) in the financial year 2015. The
combined ratio fell by 2.4 percentage points to 97.5 percent.
 
Excellent combined ratio in the Czech Republic
 
Vienna Insurance Group remained the leader in its largest CEE market, the Czech
Republic, with a market share of around 33 percent. The VIG companies increased
property and casualty premiums by 1.4 percent. The ongoing low-interest rate
environment led to continued restraint in the single-premium life insurance
business, thereby reducing premiums in the life segment by 16.3 percent.
Overall, the Czech Group companies generated around EUR 1.6 billion in premiums.
 
Profit (before taxes) reached EUR 163.0 million. At 90.7 percent, the combined
ratio was once again at an outstanding level.
 

Property and casualty premiums increase in Slovakia
 
The Slovakian VIG companies also have a top market share of around 34 percent.
Total premium volume was EUR 716.5 million, including a 1.8 percent increase in
property and casualty premiums. Poistovna Slovenskej sporitelne (PSLSP) was very
successful with sales of regular-premium life insurance products through the
local Erste Group subsidiary. The restraint in single-premium business leads
also in Slovakia to an overall decline in life insurance premiums.
 
The combined ratio was at a good level of 96.2 percent. Profit (before taxes)
was EUR 51.9 million. 
 
Price battle in Polish motor insurance
 
Price competition continues to be strong in the Polish insurance market. The
local VIG companies were nevertheless able to defend their position as number
four in the market. Overall, EUR 838.9 million in premiums were generated. Use
of a selective underwriting policy for motor vehicle insurance caused property
and casualty premiums to fall(-14.3 percent). The excellent growth achieved by
regular-premium life insurance
products (+33.8 percent) was unable to compensate for the decline in single-
premium business also in Poland.
 
Profit (before taxes) reached EUR 43.4 million. In spite of strong price
competition in motor, the combined ratio was successfully held below the 100
percent mark at 99.3 percent.
 
Rapid premium growth in Romania
 
Vienna Insurance Group succeeded in efficiently taking advantage of improved
conditions in the ongoing challenging Romanian market. This can be seen, for
example, by the around 3 percentage point increase that raised VIG's market
share to around 23 percent, thereby considerably strengthening its market
leadership position. The Group companies significantly increased premium volume
to EUR 428.6 million (+26.2 percent), achieving gains in both the property and
casualty (21.4 percent) and life insurance lines of business (+51.2 percent).
The cooperation with the Erste Group also achieved great success with BCR Life
in Romania.
 
Profit (before taxes) was EUR 5.6 million. The combined ratio was further
reduced and lies only slightly above the 100 percent mark at 102.4 percent.
 
Remaining Markets achieve dynamic growth
 
The success of VIGs strong regional diversification was shown once again by the
premium growth achieved in the Remaining Markets, which includes many of the
Group's smaller markets in the CEE region. Premium volume grew by a total of 12
percent to around EUR 1.3 billion. Property and casualty grew by 7.3 percent,
and the life segment even grew by as much as 18 percent. Premium growth was
particularly strong in countries such as Hungary (+13.5 percent), Serbia (+14.1
percent), Bulgaria (+14.6 percent), the Baltic countries (+15.0 percent) and
Turkey (+12.3 percent).
 
The Remaining Markets earned a profit (before taxes) of EUR 42.8 million in
2015. The combined ratio was 99.8 percent.
 
Significant increase in Group Embedded Value
 
The Embedded Value is calculated according to international standards and is the
net asset value of Vienna Insurance Group plus the present value of expected
future profits from existing life and health insurance contracts. It has been
certified by B&W Deloitte GmbH, Cologne.
 
The long-term viability of the insurance business of Vienna Insurance Group is
reflected by the 8.1 percent increase in the Group Embedded Value (after taxes),
raising it to EUR 6.5 billion as of 31 December 2015 (adjusted value in 2014:
EUR 6.0 billion).
 
High solvency level
 
VIG is the only Austrian insurance group with a partial internal model that has
been approved for calculating the Solvency II ratio by the Financial Market
Authority. The partial internal model is used for the property and casualty
business of the Group companies in Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia
and Romania, and for calculating the risk of Austrian Group companies' real
estate investments. The Solvency II ratio calculated at the level of the listed
VIG group is in the area of 200 percent and therefore among the leaders of
internationally operating insurance groups.
 
Outlook for 2016
 
With regard to the future results development of Vienna Insurance Group, it is
expected that the current low-interest rate environment will lead to another
decline in the ordinary financial result in 2016. The Group aims to at least
double its profit before taxes to up to EUR 400 million in 2016 while
maintaining its conservative investment policy. In the medium term the Combined
Ratio should improve towards 95 percent.

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[1]adjusted value 2014: EUR 6.0 billion

Further inquiry note:
VIENNA INSURANCE GROUP AG
Wiener Versicherung Gruppe
1010 Wien, Schottenring 30

Wolfgang Haas 
Head of Group Communications & Marketing, Spokesperson of the Group
Tel.: +43 (0)50 390-21029 
Fax: +43 (0)50 390 99-21029 
E-Mail: wolfgang.haas@vig.com

Nina Higatzberger
Head of Investor Relations
Tel.: +43 (0)50 390-21920
Fax: +43 (0)50 390 99-21920
E-Mail: nina.higatzberger@vig.com

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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company:     Vienna Insurance Group
             Schottenring 30
             A-1010 Wien
phone:       +43(0)50 390-21919
FAX:         +43(0)50 390 99-23303
mail:     investor.relations@vig.com 
WWW:      www.vig.com
sector:      Insurance
ISIN:        AT0000908504
indexes:     WBI, ATX Prime, ATX
stockmarkets: official market: Wien, stock market: Prague Stock Exchange 
language:   English
 

 


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