Wiener Städtische Versicherung AG - VIENNA INSURANCE GROUP

euro adhoc: Wiener Städtische
Annual Reports
Wiener Städtische Group presents all-time record profit for 2004

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18.04.2005

"Our strategy of early expansion into the extended Central and Eastern European home market has been an all-out success. As Austria’s largest insurance group in this greater market region, we are now superbly positioned and are already beginning to exploit its high potential and reap the rewards.This is demonstrated by our pre-tax profit for 2004, the highest in the company’s history. We are especially pleased that the companies in the Czech Republic and Slovakia made critical contributions to this strong performance. The excellent profit in excess of our estimates leads us to upgrade our outlook for the 2005 financial year. In view of the good business prospects for this year, we expect a pre-tax profit (based on Austrian HGB accounting standards) of at least EUR 155 million, or about EUR 175 million based on IFRS," commented Chief Executive Officer Günter Geyer on the extremely positive business trend.

GROUP’S FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2004:* Consolidated gross earned premiums grew by 17.1 per cent to EUR 4.18 billion. At EUR 126.0 million, consolidated pre-tax profit (PBT) - based on Austrian HGB accounting standards and on valuation at the lower of cost or market - was more than twice as high as in the previous year. In IFRS terms, based on preliminary calculations this would correspond to a doubling of PBT from approximately EUR 77 million in 2003 to about EUR 155 million. Consolidated net profit before minority interests more than tripled to EUR 83.89 million. It is proposed to the Annual General Meeting to raise the dividend by 22 per cent to 55 cents per preference share. The dividend per ordinary share is to be increased from 20 cents to 45 cents, thus taking an important step towards the convergence of dividends between ordinary and preference shares. The consolidated combined ratio (after reinsurance) improved from 99.8 per cent in 2003 to 97.8 per cent. Consolidated net investment income improved by 12.9 per cent to EUR 490.04 million. The increase of 16.0 per cent in gross claims incurred to EUR 3.18 billion was less than the growth in premiums. Operating expenses were up by a very modest 8.7 per cent to EUR 940.19 million. The Group’s total investments grew by 11.1 per cent to EUR 12.87 billion. Hidden reserves (in the form of unrealised gains on assets) increased by EUR 263.7 million to EUR 762.1 million.

*The data in this report has been independently audited and is subject to ratification by the Supervisory Board of Wiener Städtische.

Wiener Städtische Allgemeine Versicherung AG Schottenring 30 A-1010 Wien

ISIN: AT0000908520

end of announcement                                euro adhoc 18.04.2005 08:51:46
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Further inquiry note: Wiener Städtische Presseabteilung Mag. Barbara Hagen-Grötschnig Tel.: (01) 531 39-1027 Fax: (01) 531 39-3134 E-Mail: b.hagen@staedtische.co.at

Branche: Insurance
ISIN:      AT0000908520
WKN:        090852
Index:    Standard Market Continous
Börsen:  Berliner Wertpapierbörse / free trade
              Bayerische Börse / free trade
              Wiener Börse AG / official dealing



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