Similar to last year, the insurers’ ranking was dominated by Polish (16) and Czech (10) insurance companies. The podium continues to be dominated by insurers from Poland. The Polish PZU Group retained the position of leader in the top 50 CE insurance ranking (a rise in the gross premiums written by 8.8 percent), ERGO Hestia remained the runner-up (its premium increased by 8.0 percent), while Warta Group came in third.
In 2014 insurance companies saw their profitability decline slightly and the median return on equity in the insurance industry decrease from 15.1 percent to 12.4 percent in 2015, however, insurance companies saw their gross written premiums rise. In fact, the index of the top 50 insurance companies rose by 4.5 per cent (compared to a decline of 1.7 percent in the previous year). 64 percent of insurers in the region (32 entities) recorded an increase in gross written premium (GWP); 12 more than last year. More than half of the insurers in the ranking operate in Poland and the Czech Republic – they account for approximately 70 percent of the value of the GWP recorded by all companies in the ranking.
There are two trends which will significantly impact the insurance industry in the coming years: a new generation of consumers and digitalization. It is no wonder that digital customers are becoming more demanding given the current marketplace. This new breed of consumer will not be satisfied with the standard technologies provided by insurance companies and instead will demand bespoke services that are reliable and intuitive to their needs.
The analysis of the CE Top 500 ranking indicates a considerable improvement in 2015 in the condition of the largest companies in the region. It reflects the economic recovery, stemming from growing private consumption and exports, which translate into high GDP growth in the largest economies in the region. The median revenue of top 500 companies increased by 3.5 percent (versus the sluggish growth of 0.3 percent in 2014). The chief growth drivers were the manufacturing as well as consumer business and transportation industries, which, along with energy and resources companies, were the most numerous group in the ranking. This year’s performance was adversely affected by the energy and resources industry, where the revenue stagnated due to low oil prices. Further growth in the number of companies reporting increased revenues (from 260 in 2014 to 333) marks a positive development.
The top five places in the ranking remained unchanged from last year. Despite a considerable decline in revenue (down by 17.2 percent), Polish company PKN Orlen has retained its position as the leader, followed by MOL from Hungary and Škoda Auto from the Czech Republic. The fourth and the fifth place went to Polish companies: Jeronimo Martins Poland and PGNiG.
In the 50 top CE banks the largest bank representation were Polish institutions. As in the previous year, the top two places were taken by Polish banks: PKO Bank Polski and Bank Pekao.