In 1H2022, the UNIQA Insurance Group generated earnings before taxes of EUR 169 million, by 22% lower y-o-y, under the impact of the exposure to Russian bonds. Premiums written grew by 3.8%, to EUR 3,436 million.
All business lines contributed to this increase: property and casualty insurance grew by 4.4%, health insurance by 3.8% and life insurance by 2.5%.
The combined ratio rose from a very strong 92.6% in the first half of 2021 to 95%. 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% to 26.8%.
In view of the depreciation of EUR 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.Andreas Brandstetter, CEO of the UNIQA Insurance Group
The UNIQA Group’s premiums written including savings portions from unit-linked and index-linked life insurance rose by 3.8% to EUR 3,436 million in the first half of 2022. While recurring premiums grew by 3.4% to EUR 3,349.3 million, single premiums in life insurance increased by 22.4% to EUR 86.7 million.
Premiums earned including net savings portions of the premiums from unit-linked and index-linked life insurance totaling EUR 174.7 million rose by 4.5% to EUR 3,116.4 million in the first half of 2022 . Premiums earned (net, in accordance with IFRS) increased by 4.2% to EUR 2,941.8 million.
Premiums written in property and casualty insurance grew by 4.4% to EUR 1,960 million in the first six months of 2022. In health insurance, premiums written in the reporting period rose by 3.8% to EUR 638.3 million.
A look at the challenging first half of 2022 shows that, despite strong headwinds, we are still on course with our strategic program, ‘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.Andreas Brandstetter, CEO of the UNIQA Insurance Group
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% to EUR 837.6 million. The single premium business grew in the first half of 2022 by 22.4% to EUR 86.7 million.
The total amount of net insurance benefits in the UNIQA Group rose by 3.7% to EUR 2,125.3 million in the first half of 2022 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%. The combined ratio after reinsurance increased to 95%.
Total operating expenses, less reinsurance commission received, rose in the first six months of 2022 by 4% to EUR 834.3 million. Expenses for the acquisition of insurance increased by 14.6% to EUR 568 million. The reinsurance commission received amounting to EUR 12.2 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% to EUR 266.3 million. This item includes costs under the innovation and investment programme amounting to around EUR 19 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%, taking into account the reinsurance commission received.
The UNIQA Group’s investment portfolio fell to EUR 18,927.7 million as at 30 June 2022 compared with the last reporting date, due to the decreased measurement of financial instruments available for sale in connection with increased yields.
Net investment income fell by 31.2% to EUR 211.2 million in the first half of 2022. In particular, the impairment of Russian
bonds in the amount of EUR 127 million as well as additional impairments on the investment in RBI amounting to EUR 28 million had a negative effect in the first half of 2022.
In contrast, realised gains in equity and equity funds of around EUR 63 million and realised gains from the sale of properties of around EUR 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% holding in construction group STRABAG SE resulted in a positive contribution to earnings in the amount of EUR 34.1 million in the first half of 2022.
The technical result of the UNIQA Group rose by 7.6% in the first half of 2022 to EUR 119.5 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% to EUR 216.4 million. The UNIQA Group’s earnings before taxes dropped accordingly by 21.5% to EUR 169.4 million.
Consolidated profit/(loss) decreased by 11.8% to EUR 150.6 million. Earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.49.