Generali Holding Vienna AG

euro adhoc: Generali Holding Vienna AG
Financial Figures/Balance Sheet / Generali Vienna Group: Record Net Income From Ordinary Activities in 2005

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Generali Vienna Group: Record Net Income From Ordinary Activities in 2005

Generali Vienna Group’s net income from ordinary activities 54% up on the year at EUR 200 million. Premium tops EUR 3 billion for first time. Per-share earnings grow by 76% to EUR 2.82.

The Generali Vienna Group’s profitability increased impressively last year as Generali re-corded a surge in profit according to provisional figures.  Its net income from ordinary activi-ties growing by 54.0 per cent to EUR 200.3 million - and thus nearly quadrupled between 2003 and 2005.  Generali also achieved a sharp increase in consolidated net profit for the year, which grew by 75.6 per cent to EUR 180.4 million.  The group’s ROE too grew to a record high, advancing by 6.4 percentage points to 18.6 per cent, and the per-share earnings of listed group parent Generali Holding Vienna AG increased by 76.3 per cent to EUR 2.82.  Assuming approval by the AGM on 23 May 2006, the distribution to shareholders will increase by 19 per cent to 50 cents per share (25-cent dividend plus 25-cent bonus). In all, the distribution for 2005 would then come to EUR 31.9 million, having doubled in the space of two years.

Boom in life insurance: Growth of 18% Consumers in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Slovenia and Croatia paid Generali group-members EUR 3,038.4 million for insurance cover during 2005.  This premium total was 7.2 per cent up on the year.  It includes EUR 135.0 million of savings components of premium income from unit-linked life insurance.  Premium in the life insurance segment grew by 18.0 per cent overall to total EUR 966.3 million. Life insurance accounted for 32 per cent of the group’s aggregate premium income.  The Generali Vienna Group’s biggest insurance segment is property/casualty insurance, which accounted for 59 per cent of its business.  Generali sustained its profit-orientated new business acquisition policy in this field, increasing premium income in the segment by 3.5 per cent to EUR 1,806.3 million. Consumers paid Generali a total of EUR 179.0 million for private health insurance cover during the period under review, or 3.7 per cent more than in 2004.  Health insurance accounted for 6 per cent of the group’s aggregate premium income as a result. Reinsurance business was throttled down as planned by 12.6 per cent to EUR 86.7 million and thus only accounted for 3 per cent of aggregate premium income.

The Generali Vienna Group paid out claims and benefits totalling EUR 2,075.7 million during 2005.  This was 10 per cent more than the previous year’s figure.

The group was again able to improve its combined ratio (claims, benefits and costs in relation to premium) during 2005, reducing it by 1.7 percentage points to just 92.0 per cent.

Austria: Net profit for the year up 64 per cent Austria - the Generali Vienna Group’s home territory - remains by far the most important of its markets, accounting for 71 per cent of its premium income.  Although its premium in-come in Austria (without the savings components of premium income from unit-linked life insurance business) only grew by 2.5 per cent to EUR 2.07 billion, the Austrian insurance sub-sidiaries’ net profit for the year was 64.3 per cent up on 2005 at EUR 112.9 million.    The group’s gross combined ratio in 2005 was 98.8 per cent, or 0.3 percentage points higher than the year before.  In other words, the group was able to absorb most of the losses caused by the floods in August.

Central and Eastern Europe: Healthy growth rather than growth at any price  Applying International Financial Reporting Standards, premium in the group’s seven national markets in Central and Eastern Europe grew by 16.7 per cent to EUR 830.4 million.  Indeed, applying local accounting standards, premium totalled all of EUR 935.6 million. Having previously already done so in Hungary and the Czech Republic, where the group’s subsidiaries returned record annual net profits, the Generali insurance companies in Slovakia and Slovenia also showed a profit.  The Generali life insurance subsidiary in Poland is also already profitable.  Overall, the group’s insurance subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe posted net profit for the year of EUR 41.8 million, which was 21.8 per cent up on the year.  The group’s gross combined ratio in Central and Eastern Europe remained very low at 88.0 per cent.  However, an ever broader business base is of course causing a steady rise in this figure.

Investments worth EUR 10 billion The Generali Vienna Group was able to increase the value of its investments by 8.5 per cent to EUR 10.0 billion during 2005.  Fixed-interest securities accounted for over half of the total, namely EUR 5.2 billion (growth of 12.3 per cent), followed by holdings of shares and the investment fund portfolio. The value of the investment fund portfolio rose by 26.5 per cent to EUR 1.7 billion.

Undisclosed reserves contained in the group’s investments increased. The total in the books of Generali Holding Vienna AG and the insurance subsidiaries in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe was 15.4 per cent up on the year at over EUR 1.0 billion.

New impetus for growth to be expected in 2006 As Generali CEO Karl Stoss summarized, "We proved our earnings power during 2005."  Stoss intends to keep the group on its profitable growth path in 2006, whereby innovative products sold at prices in line with the group’s individual markets will provide new impetus for growth.  In addition, Karl Stoss will be undertaking carefully targeted expansion aimed both at strengthening the group’s market position in individual countries and at generating new growth potential for the future.

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ots Originaltext: Generali Holding Vienna AG
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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

Branche: Insurance
ISIN:      AT0000661350
WKN:        873075
Index:    WBI, ATX Prime
Börsen:  Börse Berlin-Bremen / free trade
              Hamburger Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Bayerische Börse / free trade
              Wiener Börse AG / official dealing

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