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Vienna, Austria - UNIQA posts significant growth in Q1 2017
* Group premiums written up 5.1 per cent
* Improved technical result compensates for drop in investment income
* Combined ratio increases to 97.7 per cent
* Earnings before taxes remain stable at EUR 33.1 million
* Strong capitalisation with economic capital requirement ratio (ECR ratio in
accordance with Solvency II) of 215 per cent as at the end of 2016
* Outlook for 2017 and plans to continue progressive dividend policy confirmed
The UNIQA Insurance Group started 2017 with strong growth in premiums written
(including the savings portion of unit- and index-linked life insurance) of 5.1
per cent in the first quarter. Premiums in property and casualty insurance saw
the most significant growth (+5.5 per cent), especially in the CEE region (+10.7
per cent). Health insurance (+4.0 per cent) and life insurance (+5.0 per cent),
particularly unit- and index-linked life insurance, also made a significant
contribution to this strong premium growth.
In the same period, total retained insurance benefits were down 0.8 per cent due
to the strategically planned decrease in single premium business and the
reduction of the portfolio in the traditional life insurance segment in Austria.
In the area of property and casualty insurance, higher insurance benefits due to
winter damage and the regulatory environment in Romania among other things led
to an increase in the combined ratio to 97.7 per cent.
The total expense ratio across all business segments fell slightly to 25.9 per
cent as a result of strong premium growth despite expenses in connection with
the innovation and investment program launched in 2016.
The technical result improved considerably by 31.6 per cent as a result of the
significant rise in premiums, the decrease in payments and a lower expense
Investment income fell by 29.8 per cent, which was due to persistently low
interest rates and negative exchange rate effects.
Earnings before taxes remained virtually stable at EUR 33.1 million as the
significant improvement in the underwriting result compensated for the decrease
in investment income.
As at the end of 2016, UNIQA is very strongly capitalised as compares to both
Austrian and European peers with an economic capital requirement (ECR) ratio of
215 per cent.
Key Group figures for Q1 2017 in detail
The premiums written by the UNIQA Group (including the savings portion of unit-
and index-linked life insurance) rose by 5.1 per cent to EUR 1,511.9 million in
the first quarter of 2017 (1 - 3/2016: EUR 1,439.2 million). In the area of
property and casualty insurance, premiums rose by 5.5 per cent to EUR 815.7
million (1 - 3/2016: EUR 773.4 million). Health insurance premiums climbed 4.0
per cent to EUR 269.7 million (January to March 2016: EUR 259.3 million), while
life insurance premiums moved up by 5.0 per cent to EUR 426.5 million (1 - 3/
2016: EUR 406.4 million).
Retained premiums earned in accordance with IFRS (i.e. not including the savings
portion of unit- and index-linked life insurance) increased by 1.6 per cent to
EUR 1,157.6 million (1 - 3/2016: EUR 1,139.9 million).
The UNIQA Group's retained insurance benefits fell by 0.8 per cent to EUR 858.7
million in the first quarter of 2017 (1 - 3/2016: EUR 865.6 million).
Total operating expenses less reinsurance commissions received rose by 4.6 per
cent to EUR 331.0 million in the first three months of 2017 (1 - 3/2016: 2016:
EUR 316.4 million). Acquisition expenses posted an increase of 2.4 per cent to
EUR 230.6 million (1 - 3/2016: EUR 225.2 million). Other operating expenses
(administration costs) climbed by 10.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 to
EUR 100.4 million (1 - 3/2016: EUR 91.1 million) as a result of expenses
relating to the innovation and investment programme.
The Group cost ratio fell to 25.9 per cent due to the strong rise in premium
income (January to March 2016: 26.0 per cent). By contrast, the combined ratio
in property and casualty insurance increased to 97.7 per cent (1 - 3/2016: 96.2
The investment portfolio of the UNIQA Group (including unit- and index-linked
life insurance investments) decreased as against the end of the previous year to
EUR 25,279.3 million as at 31 March 2017 (31 December 2016: EUR 25,454.6
million). Net investment income fell by 29.8 per cent to EUR 75.8 million in the
first three months of 2017 (1 - 3/2016: EUR 107.9 million).
The technical result improved by 31.6 per cent to EUR 40.4 million in the first
quarter of 2017 (1 - 3/2016: EUR 30.7 million). Operating earnings declined by
7.6 per cent to EUR 48.0 million (1 - 3/2016: EUR 52.0 million) as a result of
the decline in the investment result. The UNIQA Group's earnings before taxes
remained stable at EUR 33.1 million (1 - 3/2016: EUR 33.4 million).
Consolidated net profit (net profit for the period attributable to the
shareholders of UNIQA Insurance Group AG) decreased by 12.2 per cent to EUR 29.1
million (1 - 3/2016: EUR 33.2 million). Earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.09
(1 - 3/2016: EUR 0.11).
As at 31 March 2017, the UNIQA Group's equity decreased by 3.9 per cent to EUR
3,156.0 million (31 December 2016: EUR 3,186.3 million).
The number of employees (FTEs) at the UNIQA Group averaged 12,375 in the first
quarter of the year.
Outlook for the 2017 financial year
Despite significant future investments and persistently difficult conditions,
such as the low interest rate environment, falling investment income and
political uncertainty in individual markets, UNIQA expects slight growth both in
premiums and earnings in the 2017 financial year.
UNIQA aims to continuously increase the annual distribution per share in the
years to come as part of a progressive dividend policy.
On 24 May, UNIQA will publish its Solvency and Financial Condition Report (SFCR)
at around 2:00 p.m. at www.uniqagroup.com [http://www.uniqagroup.com/].
The 18th Annual General Meeting of UNIQA Insurance Group AG will be held on 29
May. CEO Andreas Brandstetter's speech will be broadcast live at
www.uniqagroup.com [http://www.uniqagroup.com/], starting at 10:00 a.m. The
speech will be available as a recording after the end of the Annual General
This press release contains statements referring to the future development of
the UNIQA Group. These statements present estimates which were reached on the
basis of all of the information available to us at the present time. If the
assumptions on which they are based do not occur, the actual results may deviate
from the results currently expected. As a result, no liability is accepted for
The UNIQA Group is one of the leading insurance groups in its core markets of
Austria and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Around 20,000 employees and
exclusive sales partners serve over 9.6 million customers in 18 countries. UNIQA
is the second-largest insurance group in Austria with a market share of more
than 21 per cent. UNIQA operates in 15 markets in the CEE growth region:
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary,
Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and
Ukraine. The UNIQA Group also includes insurance companies in Switzerland and
Further inquiry note:
UNIQA Insurance Group AG
Tel.: +43 (01) 211 75-3414
end of announcement euro adhoc
issuer: UNIQA Insurance Group AG
Untere Donaustraße 21
phone: 01/211 75-0
indexes: ATX, WBI