EANS-News: UNIQA Insurance Group AG / 2018: more premiums, increased earnings and higher dividends CNE

2/21, 7:28 AM (Source: euro adhoc)
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Annual Result

Vienna - UNIQA 2018: more premiums, increased earnings and higher dividends

+ Recurring premiums written rise by 3.1 per cent to EUR5,197 million
+ Total group premiums written rise slightly to EUR5,309 million
+ Combined ratio improves further to 96.8 per cent
+ Consolidated net profit rises by more than EUR70 million to EUR243 million
+ SCR capital requirement of around 250 per cent at high level in international
comparison
+ Dividend to be increased for the seventh time in a row - from 51 cents to 53
cents
+ Slight growth is expected again in 2019
+ Dividends also expected to increase in 2019

UNIQA CEO Andreas Brandstetter on the preliminary annual results: "2018 was a
solid year for us in several respects. We expanded and obtained new customers in
the 18 countries in which we operate. We further improved our combined ratio to
96.8 per cent, due to comparatively low expenses for weather damage among other
reasons and increased consolidated net profit by more than EUR70 million to
EUR243 million. Based on this expected result and our capital requirement that
is at a strong international level of more than 250 per cent, we are able to
propose the seventh dividend increase in a row of 53 cents."

Preliminary Key Group figures for 2018 in detail

Total premiums written by the UNIQA Group (including the savings portion of
unit- and index-linked life insurance) rose slightly in 2018 by 0.3 per cent to
EUR5,309.5 million (2017: EUR5,293.3 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 EUR5,196.7 million (2017: EUR5,039.3 million).
Retained premiums earned (in accordance with IFRS) increased by 2.9 per cent to
EUR4,760.7 million (2017: EUR4,627.9 million).
Premiums written in property and casualty insurance climbed significantly by 5.1
per cent in Austria and in CEE to EUR2,774.4 million (2017: EUR2,639.7 million).
Premiums written in health insurance rose by 4.3 per cent to EUR1,086.4 million
(2017: EUR1,042.0 million). In life insurance, total premiums written including
the savings portion of unit- and index-linked life insurance - driven by the
strategic reduction of less-profitable single premiums in international business
- declined by 10.1 per cent to EUR1,448.6 million (2017: EUR1,611.6 million).

In international business, premiums written in property and casualty insurance
climbed by 7.0 per cent (2018: EUR1,067.4 million / 2017: EUR997.3 million) and
those in health insurance by 23.5 per cent (2018: EUR77.6 million / 2017:
EUR62.8 million), while life insurance premiums written fell by 23.5 per cent
(2018: EUR419.7 million / 2017: EUR548.4 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 EUR1,564.6
million (-2.7 per cent / 2017: EUR1,608.5 million), recurring premiums included
in this rose by 7.0 per cent to EUR1,479.0 million (2017: EUR1,382.1 million).

In Austria as well, UNIQA recorded a significant increase in property and
casualty premiums of 5.0 per cent to EUR1,703.5 million in 2018 (2017:
EUR1,621.8 million), while health insurance premiums moved up by 3.0 per cent to
EUR1,008.9 million in 2018 (2017: EUR979.7 million).

Premiums written in life insurance fell by 3.1 per cent to EUR1,022.0 million
(2017: EUR1,055.2 million). In total, UNIQA generated growth in premiums written
in Austria including savings portions of 2.1 per cent to EUR3,734.4 million
(2017: EUR3,656.6 million). Recurring premiums included in that expanded by a
pleasing 2.2 per cent to EUR3,707.4 million (2017: EUR3,629.0 million).

The total amount of retained insurance benefits of the UNIQA Group rose by 2.2
per cent to EUR3,626.6 million in 2018 (2017: EUR3,547.4 million). Benefits
therefore grew slower than the corresponding retained premiums earned (+2.9 per
cent).

Total consolidated operating expenses less reinsurance commissions received rose
by 3.0 per cent to EUR1,314.7 million in 2018 (2017: EUR1,276.0 million).
Despite the higher premiums earned, expenses for acquisitions fell by 0.4 per
cent to EUR851.9 million (2017: EUR855.7 million). Due to higher costs for
personnel and IT, other operating expenses (administration costs) increased by
10.1 per cent to EUR462.7 million in 2018 (2017: EUR420.3 million). This
includes costs in connection with the innovation and investment programme
amounting to EUR43 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 - increased to 25.9 per cent (2017: 25.0 per cent).
The combined ratio after reinsurance decreased to 96.8 per cent (2017: 97.5 per
cent) due to the relatively low expenses for weather damage and the improved
cost situation in property and casualty insurance.

Investment income rose by 1.6 per cent in 2018 to EUR581.2 million (2017:
EUR572.1 million). The main reason for this 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 2018.
The investment portfolio of the UNIQA Group (including investment property,
financial assets accounted for using the equity method and other investments)
decreased as at 31 December 2018 compared with the end of the previous year to
EUR19,337.1 million (31 December 2017: EUR25,059.2 million).

The technical result of the UNIQA Group increased significantly by 26.7 per cent
in 2018 to EUR140.2 million in 2018 (2017: EUR110.6 million). Operating result
increased by 8.5 per cent to EUR350.1 million (2017: EUR322.7 million). Earnings
before taxes of the UNIQA Group rose by 11.3 per cent to EUR294.6 million (2017:
EUR264.6 million). Net profit for the period increased by 27.5 per cent to
EUR235.1 million (2017: EUR184.4 million). Income tax expenses increased to
EUR59.5 million (2017: EUR47.2 million). The tax rate was therefore 20.2 per
cent (2017: 17.8 per cent).

Consolidated net profit (net profit for the period attributable to the
shareholders of UNIQA Insurance Group AG) increased by more than EUR70 million
or 41.6 per cent to EUR243.3 million (2017: EUR171.8 million). As a result
earnings per share increased to EUR0.79 (2017: EUR0.56).

As at 31 December 2018, equity attributable to the shareholders of UNIQA
Insurance Group AG decreased to EUR2,972.1 million (31 December 2017: EUR3,158.0
million). The return on equity in the year under review increased to 7.9% (2017:
5.4%).

In 2018, the average number of employees (full-time equivalents) at the UNIQA
Group fell slightly to 12,818 (2017: 12,839) with the number of employees in
Austria increasing from 5,987 to 6,058.

Note
All the figures for the 2018 financial year are based on unaudited preliminary
data. The final consolidated annual report for 2018 will be published at the
same time as the Sustainability Report and the Economic Capital Report on the
Group website www.uniqagroup.com [http://www.uniqagroup.com/]on 10 April 2019.

The figures for 2017 are subject to IAS 8 adjustments and therefore differ from
the published figures.

Outlook

For the 2019 financial year, UNIQA is expecting growth in property and casualty
premiums of approximately 2 per cent and a rise in premiums in health insurance
of around 3 per cent. In contrast, a continuation of declining premiums in life
insurance is expected. In 2019 as a whole, UNIQA is expecting a slight increase
in total premium volume.
UNIQA is also targeting a further improvement in its combined ratio in 2019.
Earnings before taxes for 2019 are expected to be above 2018 figure after the
adjustment for the non-recurring effect from the sale of the interest in Casinos
Austria.
In line with the progressive dividend policy, UNIQA intends to further increase
the distribution per share for 2019 as well.

Forward-looking statements
This press release contains statements concerning UNIQA's future development.
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.

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

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    2019-02-21/07:28

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