The FINANCIAL -- Vienna Insurance Group performed as expected in the 1st quarter of 2016. A premium volume of EUR 2.7 billion was recorded, representing a satisfying 3.2 percent increase excluding single-premium business. Overall, premiums decreased slightly by 1.8 percent year-on-year due to continued selective sales of single-premium products.
The Group combined ratio after reinsurance (not including investment income) remained significantly below the 100 percent mark at 97.8 percent for the reporting period.
Profit (before taxes) was EUR 101.5 million. VIG generated a financial result of EUR 236.0 million in the 1st quarter of 2016. This represented a 13.7 percent year-on-year decrease that was mainly due to lower realised gains on the disposal of investments in bonds, loans and investment funds, according to Vienna Insurance Group.
“As expected, the low interest rate environment burdened our financial result. We expect this negative effect to continue during the remainder of the financial year. As shown by our profit (before taxes) in the 1st quarter, however, we are on schedule to achieve our target of doubling 2015 profit (before taxes) to up to EUR 400 million in 2016,” said Elisabeth Stadler, CEO of Vienna Insurance Group.
Group investments including cash and cash equivalents were EUR 32.7 billion (+2.6 percent) as of 31 March of the current year.
Performance in VIG markets
Premiums from regular-premium life products continue to grow
Although the low interest rate environment led to a general reduction in sales of single-premium products, regular premium life insurance business continued to grow. Growth achieved in the Czech Republic and Hungary was particularly noteworthy.
Growth achieved in difficult environment for motor insurance
VIG is still confronted by a very competitive situation for motor insurance in some markets. Romania and Turkey nevertheless recorded strong growth in the motor insurance business. In spite of the challenging market situation the combined ratio in Poland was below the 100 percent mark.
New structure in the Baltic States
The Baltic consist of the countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Baltic Group companies achieved significant premium growth up to EUR 34.3 million. Reasons for this growth included the first-time consolidation of the newly founded insurance company Compensa Non-Life and the acquisition of the non-life insurance company Baltikums.
Double-digit growth in premiums in Remaining CEE
The “Remaining CEE” segment defined by VIG, which contains the countries of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine, once again recorded double-digit premium growth (+13.5 percent) in the first quarter of 2016. Croatia and Serbia, which VIG considers to be high growth markets, made particularly large contributions to this growth.