Vienna Insurance Group (Wiener Versicherung Gruppe) exceeds EUR 10 billion premium volume, Bulgaria reports premium growth of 30.7%   

16 March 2020, 10:10

VIG with profit (before taxes) of more than half a billion euros, Bulgaria achieves premium growth of 30.7% compared to 2018 (preliminary figures for 2019). Corona crisis measures set in all countries, including Bulgaria.

  • Total premium volume increases to around EUR 10.4 billion (+7.7%)
  • Profit (before taxes) rises to around EUR 522 million (+7.4%)
  • Combined ratio clearly improved to 95.4% (-0.6 percentage points)
  • Earnings per share significantly higher at EUR 2.59 (+27%)
  • Dividend increase to EUR 1.15 per share proposed (+15%)

Vienna Insurance Group (Wiener Versicherung Gruppe) achieved top results based on the preliminary figures for the financial year 2019. Concerning the current Corona crisis various measures have been set: “We significantly improved our key financial figures for the fourth year in a row. These results confirm our position as market leader in Austria and the CEE region. They also underpin the growth potential in our markets that we have successfully made use of for exactly 30 years. Undoubtedly, the Corona situation will have an impact on our business development. At the moment, the effects on the Group are yet to be estimated. We emphasised safety and security measures for our employees and customers and ensured the continuous business operations in all our countries. We are constantly in contact with our insurance companies to encourage the containment of the virus. Regardless of the current situation, we will be proposing in the fourth subsequent year to the Annual General Meeting a significant increase of the dividend from EUR 1.00 to EUR 1.15 per share for the financial year 2019 due to the excellent business performance achieved in the previous year. This is an increase of 15% and corresponds to an attractive dividend yield of 4.5%,” explained General Manager Elisabeth Stadler.

The markets in the CEE region recorded premium growth of 10.6%. We are now generating 57% of our total premium volume in the CEE region,” remarked Elisabeth Stadler.

 
Net result 23% higher than in the previous year

The strong profit before taxes and a lower tax rate of around 21% led to a significant 23% year-on-year increase in the net result to EUR 331.3 million in 2019. The change in the consolidation method of the non-profit societies in the 3rd quarter of 2019 had no effect on this positive performance.

 
Solvency ratio 210%

VIG’s solvency ratio was at an internationally comparable level of 210% as of 31 December 2019.

 

Financial result

The financial result (incl. the result from at equity consolidated companies) was EUR 1,010.8 million in 2019, representing a small decrease of 2.6% compared to the same period in the previous year.

 
Investments

Total investments (including cash and cash equivalents) were EUR 35.9 billion as of 31 December 2019. The decrease compared to 2018 (EUR 37.6 billion) was due to the change of the consolidation method of the non-profit societies.

 
Expenses for claims and insurance benefits

Group expenses for claims and insurance benefits less reinsurers’ share were EUR 7,262.7 million in 2019, representing a year-on-year rise of 4.5%. The increase was due to a significant growth in premium volume.

 

Proposed dividend increased again

Based on the excellent business performance achieved, the Managing Board of Vienna Insurance Group (Wiener Versicherung Gruppe) will propose to the Annual General Meeting that the dividend for the financial year 2019 will be raised from EUR 1.00 to EUR 1.15 per share. This corresponds to an increase of +15% and a dividend payout ratio of 44.4%. The dividend yield is 4.5%. Earnings per share significantly increased to EUR 2.59, up by 27% compared to the previous year.

 

Preliminary results

The information in this press release for the financial year 2019 is based on preliminary data. The final information for the financial year 2019 will be published in the Group Annual Report on 16 April 2020 on the website www.vig.com.

 

Current developments for 2020

With respect to the current coronavirus situation, we have taken all appropriate measures within the Group to protect our employees and ensure business continuation. Vienna Insurance Group (Wiener Versicherung Gruppe) is continuously adjusting these measures as the situation changes. In addition, capital market developments are being continuously monitored.

The extensive measures implemented around the world to prevent further spread and the uncertainty concerning its progression will decrease global economic growth. For the time being, the effects on the business development of the Group are not assessable.

 

Bulgaria

Based on preliminary data of Vienna Insurance Group, the figures for Bulgaria are the following:

 

 

in EUR mn

 

2019                                      2018

 

+/- %

Gross premiums written Total

223.9

171.3

30.7

Result before taxes

15.8

11.4

38.1

Combined Ratio (net in %)

95.8

99.1

-3.3pp

 

In 2019 Bulgaria has reported total gross premiums written of EUR 223.9 million (EUR 171.3 million in 2019), which corresponds to percentage premium growth of 30.7%. 

Vienna Insurance Group (Wiener Versicherung Gruppe) is the leading insurance group in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Around 50 insurance companies in 30 countries form a Group with a long-standing tradition, strong brands and close customer relations. The more than 25,000 employees in the Vienna Insurance Group (Wiener Versicherung Gruppe) take care of the day-to-day needs of more than 22 million customers. VIG shares have been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1994 and were awarded an A+ rating with stable outlook by the internationally recognised rating agency Standard & Poor's. That is the best rating of all companies in the ATX, the leading index of the Vienna Stock Exchange. Vienna Insurance Group (Wiener Versicherung Gruppe) cooperates closely with the Erste Group, the largest retail bank in Central and Eastern Europe.

 

Disclaimer

This press release contains forward-looking statements that concern future developments in Vienna Insurance Group (Wiener Versicherung Gruppe). These statements are based on current assumptions and forecasts made by the management of Vienna Insurance Group (Wiener Versicherung Gruppe). Changes in general economic developments, future market conditions, capital markets and other circumstances could result in actual events or results differing significantly from these forward-looking statements. The Vienna Insurance Group AG Wiener Versicherung Gruppe assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements or modify them based on future events or developments.

 

If you have any questions, please contact:
VIENNA INSURANCE GROUP AG Wiener Versicherung Gruppe
Group Communications & Marketing Schottenring 30, 1010 Vienna Wolfgang Haas - Manager
Phone: +43 50 390-21029
mailto: wolfgang.haas@vig.com

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About BULSTRAD
ZAD "BULSTRAD VIENNA INSURANCE GROUP"
was founded on 31 July 1961. Since then the company has developed all lines of insurance and reinsurance business, such as aviation and marine, in which we have a leading position on the Bulgarian insurance market; cargo and property, motor insurance, construction-and-erection risks, personal lines and others.

In 1967, the Company registered its broking company in London, EUROPEAN INSURANCE AND REINSURANCE BROKERS (EIRB).