UNIQA Insurance Group AG

EANS-News: UNIQA Insurance Group AG
UNIQA increases earnings and premiums in strong first quarter 2015


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3-month report

UNIQA increases earnings and premiums in strong first quarter 2015
 
 
* Profit on ordinary activities (EBT) rises by 15.5 per cent to EUR94.0 million
* Consolidated net profit up 37.5 per cent to EUR76.9 million
* Strong growth in premiums of 19.8 per cent to EUR2,039.5 million
* Administrative expenses reduced by 10.7 per cent
* EBT forecast for 2015 as a whole unchanged at between EUR425 million and
EUR450 million
 
In the first three months of 2015, UNIQA Insurance Group AG (UNIQA Group)
generated a profit on ordinary activities (EBT) of EUR94.0 million (+15.5 per
cent; 1-3/2014: EUR81.4 million). Consolidated profit (after taxes and minority
interests) amounted to EUR76.9 million (+37.5 per cent; 1-3/2014:
EUR55.9 million). UNIQA achieved this growth in earnings despite having
recognised write-downs of around EUR9 million on senior bonds guaranteed by the
Federal State of Carinthia of Heta (formerly Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International)
as a result of the debt moratorium issued by the Austrian Financial Market
Authority (FMA) in March.
 
UNIQA CEO Andreas Brandstetter comments: "This growth and good start to 2015 was
primarily due to further reduction of administrative expenses and a higher
investment result. There was also a positive premium development, although we
will not continue this in the same form in the coming quarters, since we are not
aiming for any further growth in single premium business in life insurance in
the current environment. Despite the historic challenge of a low-interest
environment further exacerbated by the ECB's bond purchases and a fragile
economic development in parts of Europe, we are hold on to our ambitious outlook
for earnings in 2015."
 
Key Group figures for Q1 2015
 
The UNIQA Group's premiums written, including the savings portion of unit- and
index-linked life insurance, increased by 19.8 per cent to EUR2,039.5 million in
the first three months (1-3/2014: EUR1,702.6 million). There was extremely
strong growth in single premium business in life insurance (+129.9 per cent),
which was chiefly attributable to very strong demand in bank-based sales in
Austria and Italy. In total, premiums written in life insurance - including the
savings portion of unit- and index-linked life insurance - rose by 48.5 per cent
to EUR972.1 million (1-3/2014: EUR654.8 million). Premium income in the health
insurance business area climbed by 4.6 per cent to EUR260.9 million (1-3/2014:
EUR249.5 million), while in property and casualty insurance it grew by 1.0 per
cent to EUR806.5 million (1-3/2014: EUR798.3 million).
 
Retained premiums earned in accordance with IFRS (i.e. not including the savings
portion of unit- and index-linked life insurance) increased by 24.6 per cent to
EUR1,707.7 million (1-3/2014: EUR1,370.9 million).
 
The UNIQA Group's retained insurance benefits rose by 35.2 per cent to
EUR1,485.9 million in the first three months of 2015 (1-3/2014: EUR1,098.9
million) due to the substantial increase in premiums in life insurance.
 
There was a significant reduction in administrative expenses(other operating
expenses), which fell by 10.7 per cent to EUR90.1 million (1-3/2014: EUR101.0
million). Despite the strong premium growth, operating expenses for acquisition
increased by only 8.1 per cent to EUR251.5 million (1-3/2014: EUR232.6 million).
Overall, operating expenses less reinsurance commissions received grew by
3.0 per cent year on year to EUR335.7 million (1-3/2014: EUR325.8 million).
 
The Group cost ratio improved from 21.8 per cent to 18.4 per cent as a result of
the extremely strong growth in premium income and the further reduction of
administrative expenses. However, the cost ratio will increase again in the
quarters ahead when premium growth levels off as expected and planned.
 
The combined ratio in property and casualty insurance rose from 97.9 per cent to
98.8 per cent. This was primarily due to generally increased costs with a higher
number of small and medium-sized loss events and the increase in reserves for
extraordinary loss events that was implemented as planned. By contrast, costs in
property and casualty insurance continued to decline.
 
Net investment income of the UNIQA Group rose by 55.1 per cent from
EUR152.9 million to EUR237.2 million in the first quarter of 2015. This was
largely attributable to net evaluation gains on the investment portfolio and
extraordinary income generated as part of the planned reduction of the property
portfolio. The aim here is to optimise asset allocation across the strategic
investment policy.
 
The investment portfolio of the UNIQA Group (including unit- and index-linked
life insurance investments) increased by EUR1,086.8 million as against the end
of the previous year to EUR30,299.5 million as at 31 March 2015 (31 December
2014: EUR29,212.7 million).
 
The UNIQA Group's profit on ordinary activities (EBT)came to EUR94.0 million in
the first three months, up 15.5 per cent on the previous year's level (1-3/2014:
EUR81.4 million).
 
Consolidated net profit (after taxes and minority interests) increased by 37.5
per cent to EUR76.9 million (1-3/2014: EUR55.9 million) as a result of
relatively low tax expenses. Earnings per share amounted to EUR0.25 (1-3/2014:
EUR0.18). The return on equity after taxes and minority interests rose to 9.7
per cent in the first quarter of 2015 (1-3/2014: 7.9 per cent).
 
Compared to the end of 2014, the UNIQA Group's total equity climbed by 6.1 per
cent to EUR3,292.1 million as at 31 March 2015 (31 December 2014: EUR3,102.4
million) due to increases in the market values of fixed-income securities in
particular. The solvency ratio (Solvency I) rose to 302.2 per cent (31 December
2014: 295.4 per cent) as a result of this development.
 
The average number of employees at the UNIQA Group decreased to 13,966 (1-3/
2014: 14,656) due to restructuring measures. 5,604 of these employees were
employed in field sales and 8,362 in administration.
 
Outlook:
For 2015, the UNIQA Group has set itself the target of increasing its profit on
ordinary activities to between EUR425 million and EUR450 million. This assumes
that the capital market environment will be stable, that economic development
will improve moderately and that losses caused by natural disasters will remain
within a normal range.
 
Forward-looking statements
This press release contains statements concerning UNIQA's future development.
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 this information.

Further inquiry note:
UNIQA Insurance Group AG 
Norbert Heller
Tel.: +43 (01) 211 75-3414
mailto:norbert.heller@uniqa.at

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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company:     UNIQA Insurance Group AG
             Untere Donaustraße 21
             A-1029 Wien
phone:       01/211 75-0
mail:     investor.relations@uniqa.at
WWW:      http://www.uniqagroup.com
sector:      Insurance
ISIN:        AT0000821103
indexes:     WBI, ATX Prime, ATX
stockmarkets: official market: Wien 
language:   English
 

 

 

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