Attractive dividend proposal of 1.30 euros/share.
Preliminary results for 2022
Premium volume increases to EUR 12.6 billion (+14.1%)
Profit (before taxes) rises to EUR 562 million (+10%)
Net result of 466 million euros (+24%)
Combined ratio of 94.9% in target range (+0.8 percentage points)
Strong solvency ratio of the VIG Group at 280% (+12%)
Dividend proposal increased to EUR 1.30/share (+4%)
Live broadcast of the press conference on March 15, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. CET at this link
With a premium volume of EUR 12.6 billion, the Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) exceeded the previous year’s figure of EUR 11 billion by 14.1%. Profit before tax is 562 million euros, 10% higher than in 2021. Profit after tax reaches 466 million euros (+24% compared to the previous year). At 94.9%, the combined ratio is within the target corridor. The financial result increases by 26% to EUR 797 million. The operating return on equity before tax of 11.9% has improved significantly compared to the previous year’s figure of 10.9%. With a provisional solvency ratio of 280%, the VIG Group is once again demonstrating its strong capital base.
‘VIG Group’s preliminary figures for 2022 paint a very satisfactory picture and underline our growth strategy and our claim to be a stable and reliable partner even in challenging times. The year 2022 brought uncertainties in many areas and those uncertainties remain. In particular, the war in Ukraine, the high inflation, which was in double digits in many of our markets last year and in some cases still is, and the pandemic, which was still being felt last year. Despite this volatile environment, the VIG Group is proving to be resilient, as it was in the previous year. This is partly due to our great diversity, our conservative investment and reinsurance policy and our very strong capital base. Above all, however, it is the outstanding commitment of our now around 29,000 employees who look after around 28 million customers in 30 countries. Based on these good results, the VIG Management Board is proposing an increase in the dividend to EUR 1.30 per share for the 2022 financial year,” explains Elisabeth Stadler, CEO of the Vienna Insurance Group.
Strong premium increase
The total premium volume of EUR 12.6 billion exceeded the previous year’s figure by EUR 1.6 billion or 14.1%. This includes the newly acquired insurance companies in Hungary and Turkey, which bring in a premium volume of EUR 444.5 million. Even without taking this premium volume into account, the premium increase is a respectable 10.1%. Double-digit premium growth was achieved in all lines, with the exception of single-premium life insurance (-1%), which VIG is deliberately limiting. Motor liability increased by 20.1% (EUR 1,936 million) and comprehensive motor insurance by 16.1% (EUR 1,627 million). Other property and casualty insurance also grew by 16% thanks to a premium volume of EUR 6,112 million, and premiums in health insurance grew by 12.4% to EUR 835 million. Life insurance with regular premiums developed very well and rose by 11.1% to EUR 2,980 million. There was particularly strong premium growth in the Czech Republic (+13.8%), Extended CEE (+24.5%) and Special Markets (+59.2%) segments. In total, 65.7% of the premiums were generated outside of Austria in 2022.
Profit before tax up 10%
At EUR 562.4 million, earnings before taxes are 10% higher than in the previous year. This significant increase in profit is mainly due to the good operational development and the improved financial result. This also includes impairments on goodwill and other intangible assets totaling EUR 67.6 million. Adjusted accordingly, the operating result for 2022 is EUR 630 million, which corresponds to an increase of 23% compared to the output achieved in 2021. The net result of around EUR 466 million is 24% higher than in the previous year.
Combined ratio of 94.9%
The Group’s combined ratio for 2022 is 94.9% and is therefore within the target corridor of 95%. The slight deterioration of 0.8 percentage points compared to the previous year is due to a normalization of claims after the COVID-19 and lockdown years.
Financial result up 26%
The financial result (including the result from investments in companies consolidated using the equity method) amounted to EUR 797.2 million in 2022. The increase of 26.2% compared to the same period of the previous year is mainly due to the first-time consolidation of the acquired companies Hungary and Turkey in 2022 as well as higher interest rates. Both effects more than compensated for the impairments in connection with the exposure to Russian government bonds and corporate bonds in the amount of EUR 84.1 million.
Operating return on equity (operating RoE)
Since last year, the VIG Group has been reporting the operating return on equity as a new profitability indicator. This ratio is calculated by dividing the operating result by the average equity. In 2022, the VIG Group generated an operating return on equity before taxes of 11.9%; significantly higher than in the previous year (10.9%).
Expenses for claims and insurance benefits less the reinsurer share amounted to EUR 7,912 million in 2022 and were thus 10.9% higher than in the previous year. The increase is due to the significantly higher business volume.
ability to pay
The Group’s preliminary solvency ratio as at 31 December 2022 is 280% (including transitional measures). This top value underlines the extraordinarily strong capitalization of the VIG insurance group and thus the high resilience of the business model.
Total investments including cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR 34.4 billion as of December 31, 2022. The decline of 8% compared to the previous year is primarily due to price declines, particularly in the case of fixed-income securities, as a result of the interest rate hike.
Dividend proposal of EUR 1.30 per share
Due to the very positive business development, the Management Board of the Vienna Insurance Group will propose a dividend increase from EUR 1.25 per share in the previous year to EUR 1.30 per share for the 2022 financial year. This corresponds to an increase of 4% and a payout ratio of 35.7%. The dividend yield is 5.8%. Earnings per share improved by 22% year-on-year to EUR 3.58.
Focus on digitization and sustainability
As part of the ongoing strategy program VIG 25, the focus will be, among other things, the further expansion of digital services. The fully digital sales platform “Beesafe” was successfully launched in Poland during the pandemic. The platform allows customers to get an online car insurance quote in just 35 seconds. In just two years, Beesafe has gained more than 200,000 online customers. Sales via the customer platform of our partner Erste Group are also proving to be successful. In 2022 alone, around 175,000 insurance contracts were concluded via “George”.
This corresponds to an increase of around 80% compared to the previous year and means that around a quarter of all insurance contracts are now concluded digitally via Erste Group.
As part of VIG 25, sustainability is specified as an integral part of the Group’s business model. Intensive work is currently being done to determine the CO2 emissions for all VIG insurance companies. This includes the entire investment and insurance portfolio with all associated locations. As part of the transition plans required by the EU, the details of how CO2 emissions will be systematically reduced to zero by 2050 must be presented for the first time in 2025. Therefore, renewable energies are promoted and further intensive investments in green bonds are promoted, among other things. In 2022, the volume of green bonds almost doubled compared to the previous year and rose to EUR 829 million. Consumer demand for green products is also growing in the investment sector. In the insurance sector, the focus is on unit-linked life insurance, which offers added value for the environment and society.
The Group has recently started to advance its knowledge and risk assessment in the area of renewable energy and e-mobility underwriting. In the case of renewable energies, the focus is on hydropower, photovoltaics, wind power, biogas and geothermal energy. Electromobility still plays a very minor role in the VIG markets, but will become increasingly important. The VIG Group is also the largest motor vehicle insurer in the CEE region and insures more than ten million vehicles.
Many uncertainties remain for the 2023 financial year. The war in Ukraine poses a particular challenge as its impact continues to affect all sectors and further developments are unpredictable. VIG trusts in the long-term potential of the CEE region and in continued significant economic growth in the VIG markets, which exceeds that of Western Europe.
‘The weaker macroeconomic environment and the expected higher volatility of the financial markets are currently limiting the ability to forecast business development. In this environment and also in view of the switch to a new accounting system from 2023, a concrete outlook for 2023 can only be given in the course of the year in accordance with IFRS 17/9. Since VIG has so far been able to cope very well with the current challenges in the operative insurance business, the Group is aiming for further positive operative development in 2023 under the factors mentioned above’, explains CEO Elisabeth Stadler.
The information contained in this press release for the financial year 2022 is based on preliminary data. The final data for the 2022 financial year will be published in the annual report on April 19, 2023 on the website www.vig.com.
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