EANS-News: UNIQA Insurance Group AG / UNIQA after nine months of 2018: more recurring premiums, higher earnings CNE

11/21/2018, 7:27 AM (Source: euro adhoc)
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Quarterly Report

Vienna, Austria - UNIQA after nine months of 2018: more recurring premiums,
higher earnings

* Recurring premiums written rise by 3.1 per cent to EUR3,957.7 million
* Total group premiums stable at EUR4,042.3 million
* Combined ratio decreased to 96.6 per cent
* Investment income influenced by gains on disposal from sale of indirect
interest in Casinos Austria in the first quarter of 2018
* Earnings before taxes up 17.1 per cent to EUR212.4 million
* Earnings outlook unchanged for 2018: further improvement in earnings before
taxes compared with previous year
* Plans to continue progressive dividend policy confirmed

In the first nine months of 2018, UNIQA Insurance Group AG (UNIQA) increased its
recurring premiums written including the savings portion by 3.1 per cent and
with earnings before taxes of EUR212.4 million, exceeded the previous year's
figure by 17.1 per cent. This includes one-time gains on disposal from the sale
of indirect interest in Casinos Austria Aktiengesellschaft from the first
quarter of 2018 of EUR47.4 million.

For 2018 as a whole, UNIQA still anticipates growth in property and 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. The Group 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.

In the first nine months of 2018, the UNIQA Group's premiums written, especially
in property and casualty insurance, increased by more than 4.7 per cent, even
more strongly than expected. It is also pleasing that this significant growth
was borne by both core markets alike: Austria (+4.9 per cent) and CEE (+7.0 per
cent). In particular, vehicle insurance and property insurance were growth
drivers in both regions. By contrast, premiums written in life insurance fell by
11.0 per cent as a result of the planned decrease in low-margin single premiums,
primarily in Poland. The very stable health insurance business developed as
expected and climbed by 4.4 per cent.

Consistently high cost discipline helped that the increase in total operating
expenses was low at 1.0 per cent, despite a significant increase in recurring
premiums. The combined ratio dropped from 97.1 per cent to 96.6 per cent due to
the improved cost situation, despite a further expansion of the provision for
future loss events, especially storms.

Key Group figures 1-9/2018 in detail

In the first nine months of 2018, the UNIQA Group's total premiums written,
including the savings portion of unit-and index-linked life insurance remained
stable at EUR4,042.3 million (1 - 9/2017: EUR4,043.9 million). The solid growth
in property and casualty insurance and health insurance compensated for the
decline in life insurance premiums caused by the planned decrease in single
premiums in international business. Recurring premiums included in total
premiums written increased by 3.1 per cent to EUR3,957.7 million (1 - 9/2017:
EUR3,837.2 million). Premiums earned including the net savings portion of the
premiums from unit- and index-linked life insurance fell by 1.2 per cent to
EUR3,797.5 million (1 - 9/2017: EUR3,844.4 million). Retained premiums earned
(in accordance with IFRS) increased by 2.8 per cent to EUR3,571.4 million (1 -
9/2017: EUR3,473.0 million).

Premiums written in property and casualty insurance climbed by 4.7 per cent to
EUR2,145.7 million (1 - 9/2017: EUR2,048.4 million) in both Austria and in CEE
due to strong growth in vehicle insurance and property insurance. Premiums
written in health insurance rose by 4.4 per cent to EUR817.8 million (1 - 9/
2017: EUR783.5 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 (Poland) -
declined by 11.0 per cent to EUR1,078.9 million (1 - 9/2017: EUR1,211.9
million). While single premiums in life insurance reduced by 59.1 per cent to
EUR84.6 million (1 - 9/2017: EUR206.6 million) in line with planning, recurring
premiums in life insurance only decreased slightly to EUR994.3 million (1 - 9/
2017: EUR1,005.3 million).

In international business, premiums written in property and casualty insurance
increased by 7 per cent (1 - 9/2018: EUR806.3 million / 1 - 9/2017: EUR753.5
million) due to strong growth in vehicle and property insurance and those in
health insurance by 29.7 per cent (1 - 9/2018: EUR59.6 million / 1 - 9/2017:
EUR46.0 million), while life insurance premiums fell by 26.2 per cent (1 - 9/
2018: EUR308.9 million / 1 - 9/2017: EUR418.2 million). In summary, UNIQA
generated written premiums in international business including savings portions
of EUR1,174.8 million (-3.5 per cent / 1 - 9/2017: EUR1,217.7 million),
recurring premiums included in this rose by 7.6 per cent to EUR1,111.1 million
(1 - 9/2017: EUR1032.4 million).

In Austria as well, UNIQA recorded a significant increase in property and
casualty premiums of 4.9 per cent in the first nine months of 2018 (1 - 9/2018:
EUR1,330.3 million / 1 - 9/2017: EUR1,268.5 million), while health insurance
premiums moved up by 2.8 per cent (1 - 9/2018: EUR758.2 million / 1 - 9/2017:
EUR737.8 million). Premiums written in life insurance fell by 2.9 per cent to
EUR764.9 million (1 - 9/2017: EUR787.7 million). In total, UNIQA generated
pleasing growth in premiums written in Austria including savings portions of 2.1
per cent to EUR2,853.4 million (1 - 9/2017: EUR2,793.9 million). Recurring
premiums included in that expanded by a pleasing 2.2 per cent to EUR2,838.6
million (1 - 9/2017: EUR2,772.6 million).

The total amount of retained insurance benefits of the UNIQA Group rose by 4.0
per cent to EUR2,764.7 million in the first nine months of 2018 (1 - 9/2017:
EUR2,659.0 million).

Total operating expenses less reinsurance commissions received rose by only 1.0
per cent to EUR951.6 million in the first nine months of 2018 (1 - 9/2017:
EUR942.7 million). Despite the higher premiums earned, expenses for acquisitions
fell by 2.7 per cent to EUR627.8 million (1 - 9/2017: EUR645.5 million). Due to
higher personnel costs and pension provisions, other operating expenses
(administration costs) increased by 9.0 per cent to EUR323.9 million (1 - 9/
2017: EUR297.2 million) in the first nine months of 2018. This includes costs in
connection with the innovation and investment programme amounting to EUR23
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 increased slightly by one
percentage point to 25.1 per cent (1 - 9/2017: 24.5 per cent).

The combined ratio after reinsurance decreased to 96.6 per cent (1 - 9/2017:
97.1 per cent) due to the improved cost situation despite the higher provision
for loss events that are to be expected, especially storms.

In the first nine months of 2018, investment income rose by 13.6 per cent to
EUR447.2 million (1 - 9/2017: EUR393.6 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 September 2018 compared with the end of the previous
year to EUR19,422.1 million (31 December 2017: EUR19,877.7 million).

Owing to higher insurance benefits in life insurance and health insurance and
higher expenses, the UNIQA Group's technical result decreased by 24.0 per cent
to EUR 74.4 million in the first nine months of 2018 (1 - 9/2017: EUR97.9
million). In contrast, operating earnings increased by 12.1 per cent to EUR253.6
million (1 - 9/2017: EUR226.3 million) due to the good investment result.
Earnings before taxes of the UNIQA Group rose accordingly just as significantly
by 17.1 per cent to EUR212.4 million (1 - 9/2017: EUR181.4 million).

Consolidated net profit (net profit for the period attributable to the
shareholders of UNIQA Insurance Group AG) increased by 45.3 per cent to EUR166.2
million (1 - 9/2017: EUR114.4 million). Despite higher income tax expenses,
earnings per share up at EUR0.54 (1 - 9/2017: EUR0.37).

As at 30 September 2018, the UNIQA Group's equity decreased to EUR2,986.2
million (31 December 2017: EUR3,177.6 million).

The average number of employees at the UNIQA Group decreased to 12,775 in the
first nine months of the year (1 - 9/2017: 12,797).

Outlook

For the entire 2018 financial year, UNIQA is expecting growth in property and
casualty premiums of approximately 4 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, lower premiums in life insurance
are expected. In 2018 as a whole, UNIQA is expecting a close to stable total
premium volume.

For investment income, UNIQA is expecting no further decline in 2018 compared 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
E-mail: norbert.heller@uniqa.at

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

UNIQA Insurance Group AG
Untere Donaustrasse. A-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

EAX0003    2018-11-21/07:27

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