- After a robust development in the first three quarters of 2014, UNIQA generates EBT of € 275.2 million (+3.3 per cent)
- UNIQA specifies outlook for 2014 as a whole (“significant increase in comparison to 2013”) with EBT forecast of € 370 – 380 million (+20 per cent) and consolidated net profit of € 275 – 285 million
- UNIQA adjusts the original EBT target for 2015 (“up to € 550 million”) in line with the economic environment and currently anticipates a double-digit percentage increase in EBT in 2015 compared to 2014 to a level of € 425 – 450 million
The UNIQA Insurance Group (UNIQA) improved its earnings before tax (EBT) by 3.3 per cent to € 275.2 million (1-9/2013: € 266.3 million) in a challenging economic environment in the first three quarters of 2014. Adjusted for the non-recurring effect (in the amount of € 51.6 million) from the sale of the hotel group in 2013 and despite the complete write-off of € 35.4 million on Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International bonds, EBT rose by more than 28 per cent. This increase in earnings was attributable to a 5.3 per cent rise in retained premiums earned in accordance with IFRS (i.e. not including the savings portion of unit- and index-linked life insurance), a € 30.3 million (-9.9 per cent) reduction in administrative expenses, an improved technical profit of € 120.0 million (+94.1 per cent) and a 4.3 per cent increase in net investment income to € 586.2 million.
Outlook for 2014
Despite the subdued economy, for 2014 as a whole UNIQA anticipates an increase in retained premiums earned in accordance with IFRS of around 4 per cent compared to 2013, a further improvement in the cost ratio to a little over 23 per cent, stable investment income and EBT of between € 370 million and € 380 million. This represents an increase of more than 20 per cent in comparison to the EBT of € 305.6 million generated in 2013. UNIQA expects to generate a consolidated profit (after taxes and minority interests) of € 275 million to € 285 million in 2014. The outlook for 2014 assumes that there will be no negative developments on the capital markets and no extraordinary large losses caused by natural disasters in the remaining weeks of the year.
In line with the dividend policy, UNIQA intends to distribute between 40 and 50 per cent of the consolidated profit as a dividend again for the 2014 financial year.
Targets for 2015
In light of the fact that economic growth has slowed considerably in large parts of Europe in recent months and the economic forecasts for 2015 were recently lowered further, UNIQA now anticipates weaker growth for the coming year than originally expected. Growth is also held back by the very low interest rate level, which decreased further over the course of 2014 and is not expected to see a turnaround in the near future, either. Combined with increasing geopolitical tensions, UNIQA believes that this results in an unusually high degree of uncertainty with regard to the medium-term economic development in Europe.
This unstable environment prompted UNIQA to revise its planning in comparison to the original targets, which had specified an increase in EBT to up to € 550 million for the 2015 financial year. UNIQA currently still expects double-digit percentage growth in the profit on ordinary activities to a level of € 425 million to € 450 million, moderate growth in premiums and a further improvement in the cost ratio in 2015 as against 2014.
In the medium term, UNIQA will increasingly focus on managing costs, improving efficiency and further increasing the profitability of its core insurance business.
Financial report for 1st – 3rd quarter of 2014
In light of the specified outlook, UNIQA will publish its financial report for the 1st – 3rd quarter of 2014 on the Group website www.uniqagroup.com on 26 November 2014, a day earlier than originally announced in the financial calendar.
This press release contains statements referring to the future development of the UNIQA Group. These statements present estimates 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 results may deviate from the results currently expected. As a result, no liability is accepted for this information.