In the first six months of 2022, the UNIQA Insurance Group AG (UNIQA) generated earnings before taxes of €169 million. Premiums written grew by 3.8 per cent in the first half of 2022. All business lines contributed to this increase: property and casualty insurance grew by 4.4 per cent, health insurance by 3.8 per cent and life insurance by 2.5 per cent. “In view of the depreciation of €127 million on Russian bonds, as already communicated in July, and the high level of adverse impact from major claims and natural catastrophes, the results for the first half of the year are solid,” says Andreas Brandstetter, CEO of the UNIQA Insurance Group.
The combined ratio rose from a very strong 92.6 per cent in the first half of 2021 to 95.0 per cent. Responsible for this were not only higher burdens due to major claims and natural catastrophes, but also inflation-related price increases for repair services – both primarily at our Austrian subsidiary. At the same time, however, UNIQA was able to further improve the total cost ratio slightly from 26.9 per cent to 26.8 per cent. “A look at the challenging first half of 2022 shows that, despite strong headwinds, we are still on course with our strategic programme, ‘UNIQA 3.0 – Seeding the Future’. This is mainly due to the fact that we had already launched a number of strategic initiatives at an early stage in 2020, of which the cost-cutting measures in particular are paying off, in view of the current inflation,” adds Brandstetter.
Consolidated key figures for 1 – 6/2022 in detail
The UNIQA Group’s premiums written including savings portions from unit-linked and index-linked life insurance rose by 3.8 per cent to €3,436.0 million in the first half of 2022 (1 – 6/2021: €3,310.0 million). While recurring premiums grew by 3.4 per cent to €3,349.3 million (1 – 6/2021: €3,239.2 million), single premiums in life insurance increased by 22.4 per cent to €86.7 million (1 – 6/2021: €70.8 million). Premiums earned including net savings portions of the premiums from unit-linked and index-linked life insurance totalling €174.7 million (1 – 6/2021: €160.1 million) rose by 4.5 per cent to €3,116.4 million in the first half of 2022 (1 – 6/2021: €2,983.2 million). Premiums earned (net, in accordance with IFRS) increased by 4.2 per cent to €2,941.8 million (1 – 6/2021: €2,823.1 million).
Premiums written in property and casualty insurance grew by 4.4 per cent to €1,960.0 million in the first six months of 2022 (1 – 6/2021: €1,877.4 million). In health insurance, premiums written in the reporting period rose by 3.8 per cent to €638.3 million (1 – 6/2021: €615.2 million). In life insurance, premiums written including savings portions from unit-linked and index-linked life insurance rose overall in the first six months of 2022 by 2.5 per cent to €837.6 million (1 – 6/2021: €817.5 million). The single premium business grew in the first half of 2022 by 22.4 per cent to €86.7 million (1 – 6/2021: €70.8 million).
The total amount of net insurance benefits in the UNIQA Group rose by 3.7 per cent to €2,125.3 million in the first half of 2022 (1 – 6/2021: €2,050.3 million), which was less than the growth in premiums earned. The loss ratio after reinsurance therefore increased slightly in the first six months of 2022 to 63.0 per cent (1 – 6/2021: 62.2 per cent). The combined ratio after reinsurance increased to 95.0 per cent (1 – 6/2021: 92.6 per cent).
Total operating expenses, less reinsurance commission received, rose in the first six months of 2022 by 4.0 per cent to €834.3 million (1 – 6/2021: €802.5 million). Expenses for the acquisition of insurance increased by 14.6 per cent to €568.0 million (1 – 6/2021: €495.8 million). The reinsurance commission received amounting to €12.2 million (1 – 6/2021: €11.0 million) has already been deducted from the acquisition costs. Other operating expenses (administrative expenses) decreased in the first half of 2022 as a result of the successful cost-reduction measures by 13.2 per cent to €266.3 million (1 – 6/2021: €306.7 million). This item includes costs under the innovation and investment programme amounting to around €19 million (1 – 6/2021: approximately €24 million).
The total cost ratio, i.e. the ratio of total operating expenses to the premiums earned including net savings portions of the premiums from unit-linked and index-linked life insurance, decreased slightly to 26.8 per cent, taking into account the reinsurance commission received (1 – 6/2021: €26.9 per cent).
The UNIQA Group’s investment portfolio (including investment property, financial assets accounted for using the equity method and other investments) fell to €18,927.7 million as at 30 June 2022 compared with the last reporting date (31 December 2021: €21,785.0 million), due to the decreased measurement of financial instruments available for sale in connection with increased yields.
Net investment income fell by 31.2 per cent to €211.2 million in the first half of 2022 (1 – 6/2021: €307.2 million). In particular, the impairment of Russian bonds in the amount of €127 million as well as additional impairments on the investment in RBI amounting to €28 million had a negative effect in the first half of 2022. In contrast, realised gains in equity and equity funds of around €63 million and realised gains from the sale of properties of around €36 million had a positive effect on net investment income in the first half of 2022. The application of the equity method of accounting for the 15.3 per cent holding in construction group STRABAG SE resulted in a positive contribution to earnings in the amount of €34.1 million in the first half of 2022 (1 – 6/2021: €12.4 million).
The technical result of the UNIQA Group rose by 7.6 per cent in the first half of 2022 to €119.5 million (1 – 6/2021: €111.1 million), mainly due to the improved results in health and life insurance. Due to the lower net investment income, however, the operating profit fell by 21.9 per cent to €216.4 million (1 – 6/2021: €277.0 million). The UNIQA Group’s earnings before taxes dropped accordingly by 21.5 per cent to €169.4 million (1 – 6/2021: €215.7 million).
Consolidated profit/(loss) (i.e. the proportion of the net profit for the period attributable to the shareholders of UNIQA Insurance Group AG) decreased by 11.8 per cent to €150.6 million (1 – 6/2021: €170.7 million). Earnings per share amounted to €0.49 (1 – 6/2021: €0.56).
Equity attributable to the shareholders of UNIQA Insurance Group AG fell to €1,969.6 million as at 30 June 2022 (31 December 2021: €3,303.6 million). The main reasons for this development were the decrease in the measurement of financial instruments available for sale due to the increase in returns and the dividend payment for the 2021 financial year.
The Solvency II ratio as at 30 June 2022 was approximately 234 per cent (31 December 2021: 196 per cent).
The average number of employees at the UNIQA Group fell in the first six months of 2022 to 14,273 (1 – 6/2021: 14,748).
UNIQA expects premium income to rise and projects robust growth in its core underwriting business this year. However, it is currently impossible to provide a solid assessment of capital market developments and thus a stable forecast regarding net investment income. UNIQA therefore remains unable to make a profit forecast for the year as a whole.
Clause regarding predictions about the future
This communication contains statements which refer to the future development of UNIQA. These statements present estimations which 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 events may vary from the results currently expected. As a result, no guarantee can be provided for the information given.