EANS-News: UNIQA Insurance Group AG / UNIQA after first six months of 2018: recurring premiums up, improved earnings CNE

8/22/2018, 7:29 AM (Source: euro adhoc)
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Mid Year Results

Vienna, Austria - UNIQA after first six months of 2018: recurring premiums up,
improved earnings

* Recurring premiums written rise 3.1 per cent to EUR2,738.6 million
* Total group premiums written stable at EUR2,798.4 million
* Combined ratio climbs slightly to 97.1 per cent due to reserves increased as a
matter of precaution
* Strong investment income influenced by one-time gains on disposal from sale of
indirect interest in Casinos Austria in first quarter of 2018
* Earnings before taxes up 47.5 per cent to EUR140.8 million
* Earnings outlook for 2018 unchanged: further improvement in earnings before
taxes compared with previous year
* Plans to continue progressive dividend policy confirmed

In the first half of 2018, UNIQA Insurance Group AG (UNIQA) increased its
recurring premiums written including savings portions by 3.1 per cent while its
earnings before taxes were up 47.5 per cent to EUR140.8 million compared with
the previous year's figure. This includes one-time gains on disposal of EUR47.4
million in the first quarter of 2018 from the sale of the indirect interest in
Casinos Austria Aktiengesellschaft.

UNIQA CEO Andreas Brandstetter commented: "We made good use of positive economic
development in our core markets of Austria and CEE. Growth in recurring premiums
in the first half year is even somewhat above our expectations. The solid
earning situation allows us, like it did last year, to make better provisions
for upcoming storm damage. Although losses due to extreme weather events were
below the long-term average in the first half, we do not assume that it will
stay that way. On the earnings side, we continue to assume an increase for 2018
compared with the previous year."

In line with the UNIQA Group's strategic requirements, premiums written,
especially in property and casualty insurance, increased by more than 4.5 per
cent in the first half of 2018, even more strongly than expected. It is also
pleasing that this significant growth was driven by both core markets alike:
Austria (+4.5 per cent) and CEE (+7.8 per cent). The main drivers in both
regions were vehicle insurance and property insurance. By contrast, premiums
written in life insurance fell by 11.0 per cent due to the planned decrease in
business with single premiums. The health insurance business was very stable,
developing as expected with growth of 5.1 per cent.

The ongoing high level of cost discipline has helped in turn to reduce total
operating expenses slightly - by 0.5 per cent or more than EUR3 million. Despite
this improved cost situation, the combined ratio increased over this half-year
due to an increased negative impact from major claims and additional provisions
for future loss events - especially due to storms - from 96.8 per cent to 97.1
per cent.

For 2018 as a whole, UNIQA anticipates unchanged growth in property insurance,
casualty insurance and health insurance. Despite high expenses for the
innovation and investment programme launched in 2016, UNIQA is pursuing further
improvement in its earnings before taxes. It is likewise keeping to its plan to
continuously increase the annual distribution per share in the years to come as
part of a progressive dividend policy.

Key Group figures 1-6/2018 in detail

Total premiums written by the UNIQA Group - including the savings portion of
unit- and index-linked life insurance - remained stable in the first half of
2018 at EUR2,798.4 million (1-6/2017: EUR2,798.6 million). Solid growth rates in
property and casualty insurance and those in health insurance compensated for
the decrease in life insurance premiums due to the planned reduction of single
premiums in international business. Recurring premiums included in total
premiums written climbed by 3.1 per cent to EUR2,738.6 million (1 - 6/2017:
EUR2,656.0 million). Retained premiums including the net savings portion of the
premiums from unit- and index-linked life insurance fell by 1.7 per cent to
EUR2,540.1 million (1 - 6/2017: EUR2,583.7 million). Retained premiums earned
(in accordance with IFRS) increased by 3.1 per cent to EUR2,385.5 million (1 -
6/2017: EUR2,314.9 million).

Premiums written in property and casualty insurance rose in Austria and CEE by
4.5 per cent in the first six months of 2018 to EUR1,506.2 million (1-6/2017:
EUR1,441.6 million) due to strong growth in vehicle and property insurance.
Premiums written in health insurance rose by 5.1 per cent to EUR549.4 million
(1-6/2017: EUR522.5 million). In life insurance, total premiums written
including the savings portion of unit- and index-linked life insurance - driven
by the strategic reduction of single premiums in international business -
declined by 11.0 per cent to EUR742.9 million (1-6/2017: EUR834.4 million).
While the volume of single premium business in life insurance fell by 58.1 per
cent to EUR59.8 million (1-6/2017: EUR142.6 million) in line with planning,
recurring premiums in life insurance fell only slightly to EUR683.1 million (1-
6/2017: EUR691.8 million).

In international business, premiums written in property and casualty insurance
climbed by an impressive 7.8 per cent (1-6/2018: EUR563.8 million / 1-6/2017:
EUR523.0 million) due to strong growth in vehicle and property insurance and
those in health insurance by 44.6 per cent (1-6/2018: EUR42.7 million / 1-6/
2017: EUR29.5 million), while life insurance premiums written fell by 27.1 per
cent (1-6/2018: EUR207.7 million / 1-6/2017: EUR284.7 million) due to the
planned decrease in single premiums, especially in Poland. In summary, UNIQA
generated written premiums in international business including savings portions
of EUR814.2 million (-2.7 per cent / 1-6/2017: EUR837.1 million), recurring
premiums included in this rose by 8.5 per cent to EUR770.1 million (1-6/2017:
EUR709.9 million).

In Austria as well, UNIQA recorded a significant increase in property and
casualty premiums of 4.5 per cent (1-6/2018: EUR931.7 million / 1-6/2017:
EUR891.9 million), while health insurance premiums moved up by 2.7 per cent (1-
6/2018 EUR506.7 million / 1-6/2017: EUR493.2 million). Premiums written in life
insurance fell by 2.6 per cent to EUR531.7 million (1-6/2017: EUR545.7 million).
In total, UNIQA generated pleasing growth in premiums written in Austria
including savings portions of 2.0 per cent to EUR1,970.1 million (1-6/2017:
EUR1,930.7 million). Recurring premiums included in that also expanded by a
pleasing 2.0 per cent to EUR1,954.4 million (1-6/2017: EUR1,915.4 million).

The total amount of retained insurance benefits of the UNIQA Group rose by 5.0
per cent to EUR1,836.7 million in the half of 2018 (1-6/2017: EUR1,749.0
million).

Total operating expenses less reinsurance commissions received were reduced by
0.5 per cent to EUR642.6 million in the first six months of 2018 (1-6/2017:
EUR645.7 million). Despite premium growth, expenses for acquisition fell by 4.7
per cent to EUR 422.2 million (1-6/2017: EUR443.0 million). Other operating
expenses (administrative expenses) increased by 8.7 per cent to EUR220.4 million
in the first half of 2018 (1-6/2017: EUR202.7 million). This includes costs as a
result of expenses relating to the innovation and investment programme in the
amount of EUR12 million.

The total cost ratio - the ratio of total operating expenses to premiums earned
including the net savings portion of the premiums from unit- and index-linked
life insurance - less reinsurance commissions received improved slightly by one
percentage point to 25.3 per cent (1-6/2017: 25.0 per cent).

The combined ratio after reinsurance improved to 97.1 per cent (1-6/2017: 96.8
per cent) despite the improved cost situation. This increase reflects higher
major claims compared with the previous year and increased provisions for
expected loss events (especially storms) over the course of the rest of the
year.

Investment income rose by 23.7 per cent to EUR288.9 million in the first half of
2018 (1-6/2017: EUR233.5 million). The main reason for this strong increase was
the sale of the indirect interest in Casinos Austria Aktiengesellschaft, which
generated gains on disposal of EUR47.4 million for the UNIQA Group in the first
quarter of 2018.

The investment portfolio of the UNIQA Group (including investment property,
financial assets accounted for using the equity method and other investments)
decreased slightly as at 30 June 2018 compared with the end of the previous year
to EUR19,789.2 million (31 December 2017: EUR19,877.7 million).

The technical result of the UNIQA Group fell by 28.2 per cent to EUR51.5 million
in the first half of 2018 (1-6/2017: EUR71.7 million) despite an improved cost
situation due to an increase in retained insurance benefits. In contrast,
operating earnings increased by 33.7 per cent to EUR167.5 million (1-6/2017:
EUR125.3 million) due to the good investment result. Earnings before taxes of
the UNIQA Group rose accordingly just as significantly by 47.5 per cent to
EUR140.8 million (1-6/2017: EUR95.5 million).

Consolidated net profit (net profit for the period attributable to the
shareholders of UNIQA Insurance Group AG) increased by 166.2 per cent to
EUR109.9 million (1 - 6/2017: EUR41.3 million). Earnings per share amounted to
EUR0.36 (1 - 6/2017: EUR0.13).

As at 30 June 2018, the UNIQA Group's equity amounted to EUR2,989.0 million (31
December 2017: EUR3,177.6 million).

The average number of employees at the UNIQA Group increased slightly in the
first six months of the year to 12,876 (1 - 6/2017: 12,806).

Outlook

For the entire 2018 financial year, UNIQA is expecting growth in property and
casualty premiums of at least 2 per cent and a rise in premiums in health
insurance of more than 3 per cent. In view of the conscious reduction of life
insurance single premiums in CEE in particular and continuing customer restraint
regarding traditional life insurance in Austria, lower premiums in life
insurance are expected. In 2018 as a whole, UNIQA is expecting a moderate
decline in total premium volume of about 1 per cent.

For investment income, UNIQA is expecting no further decline in 2018 in
comparison to 2017, as the impact of low interest rates has already been largely
reflected in the lower investment income of previous years.

In the area of property and casualty insurance, UNIQA is continuing to strive
for increased profitability in its actuarial core business in 2018 as well and
on this basis a further increase in the combined ratio compared with 2017.

Overall UNIQA is again anticipating an improvement in earnings before taxes.
UNIQA retains its intention of steadily increasing the annual distribution per
share in the years to come as part of a progressive dividend policy.

Forward-looking statements
This press release contains statements referring to the future development of
the UNIQA Group. These statements present estimates that 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.

UNIQA
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 9.5 million customers in 18 countries. UNIQA
is the second-largest insurance group in Austria with a market share of more
than 22 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
Liechtenstein.

Further inquiry note:
Norbert Heller, Media Spokesman
Tel.: +43 (01) 211 75-3414
Mail: norbert.heller@uniqa.at

Michael Oplustil, Investor Relations
Tel.: +43 (01) 211 75-3236 
Mail: michael.oplustil@uniqa.at

UNIQA Insurance Group AG
Untere Donaustraße 21 1029 Vienna, Austria
Internet: www.uniqa.at
Twitter.com/uniqagroup

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

EAX0002    2018-08-22/07:29

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