Vienna Insurance Group right on track in the first half of 2018 - clear improvement in all key figures
Vienna Insurance Group’s (VIG) half-year results for 2018 show further improvement in key figures.
“Stable, reliable and fit for the future is a brief summary of our goals. We have achieved a very stable upward development for two and a half years. The steady improvement in key figures shows we are reliable and the targets originally planned for 2019 have already been brought forward to this year. We are systematically using our “Agenda 2020” management programme to remain fit for the future. In addition to this year's focus on expanding bank distribution, the “Agenda 2020” programme is also currently looking at increasing data by processing using artificial intelligence. In this respect, new project in Poland has just been started”, summarised Elisabeth Stadler, General Manager of Vienna Insurance Group.
VIG generated EUR 5,150.3 million in Group premiums, representing an increase of +3.6 percent compared to the previous year. Excluding a further decrease in the single-premium life business, the increase was a solid +5.7 percent. All of VIG's business segments contributed to the significant increase in premiums. Similarly, except for single-premium life insurance, premiums increased in all lines of business, especially in non-life and health insurance. Poland, in particular, achieved very satisfying double-digit growth in the non-life business. The Baltic States recorded a +18.8 percent increase in total premium volume. This was the result of generally very positive performance in all lines of business, especially motor insurance. Croatia (+18.3 percent) and Serbia (+11.6 percent), which belong to the Remaining CEE segment, also recorded double-digit growth rates. Premium volume increased to EUR 2,170.0 million in Austria, in spite of a continued restrictive underwriting policy in the single-premium business. When adjusted for single premium business, premiums increased by +1.3 percent.
The Group result (before taxes) increased by +5.5 percent compared to the previous year to EUR 232.7 million. The increase was primarily due to improvements in the combined ratio and financial result. The Group combined ratio after reinsurance (excluding investment income) recorded another significant improvement to 96.3 percent. Positive developments came from Austria (95.3 percent), the Czech Republic (94.6 percent), Poland (94.1 percent), Romania (98.6 percent) and Bulgaria (97.2 percent). The financial result reached a value of EUR 511.3 million for the first half of 2018, a +4.7 percent increase over the previous year.
At the end of July 2018, VIG began the second round of the internal Group “VIG Xelerate” programme aimed to promote the digital transformation. VIG Group companies can submit their projects for the programme until the end of October 2018. Award-winning projects will receive financial support if they can demonstrate, among other things, innovation in their local market and relevance in terms of applicability for other VIG companies. They must also be able to show an improvement in financial terms.
One of the winning projects from the first pitch by the Polish VIG Group company InterRisk has now been launched. It focuses on increased data usage and the use of artificial intelligence to develop a completely new kind of pricing structure. The goal is, in the next few years, to move away from the current standard pricing structure based on statistical data from the past and internal calculation modules. Instead, it will take into account individual behavioural characteristics of customers, as well as their specific personal requirements and current market developments. The final stage is aimed at providing personal pricing and product design in real time.
“The aim is to optimally satisfy individual customer needs and improve profitability, which are becoming increasingly more important in a highly competitive market. In Poland we are starting with the motor line of business, which is very important for us. Following the initial evaluation, we will look into developing similar models for other lines of business. If successful, the project will be very beneficial for the Group and can be transferred to other VIG Group companies”, said Elisabeth Stadler.