- Combined ratio improved from 93.7 to 92.9 per cent
- Consolidated profit increased by 21.7 per cent to €383.0 million
- Proposed dividend of €0.55 per share
- Outlook for 2023
In the financial year now ended, UNIQA Insurance Group AG (UNIQA) generated earnings before taxes of €421.7 million, an increase of 10.3 per cent. Premiums written by the UNIQA Group rose by 3.9 per cent to €6,605.0 million in 2022. “In an extraordinary year shaped by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, skyrocketing energy prices and high inflation, our core business once again proved to be crisis-resistant,” says Andreas Brandstetter, CEO of the UNIQA Insurance Group. Premiums written by UNIQA Austria increased by 4.3 per cent to €4,086.4 million in the financial year now ended. At UNIQA International, they rose by 3.4 per cent to €2,506.6 million despite a sharp drop in sales in Ukraine and Russia. The technical result of the UNIQA Group went up by 96.2 per cent to €410.5 million in 2022.
“We are seeing excellent business development not just in Austria, but especially in our international companies in CEE too. With around 38 per cent of the premiums written and excellent profitability, they contributed significantly to the highly satisfactory results,” Brandstetter says, emphasising the international orientation of the UNIQA Group. Despite high burdens due to major damages and natural catastrophes, as well as the inflation-related price increase for repair services, the combined ratio was improved further to 92.9 per cent. “During this phase after the pandemic has subsided, which we have still not been in for long, demand for healthcare products remains high. For that reason, we will continue to systematically expand our health ecosystem, including beyond the standard insurance products,” says Brandstetter. “Today, over 16 million customers rely on us to protect and improve their property, financial security and healthcare. Our goal is to accompany and support them in health matters as a relevant partner throughout their lives.”
In addition, UNIQA will make substantial investments in human resources as well as in IT and digitalisation in the coming year. The Group’s firm commitment to sustainability in all corporate areas and to the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement remains unchanged. UNIQA aims to be climate neutral in Austria by 2040 and internationally by 2050. This is also reflected in UNIQA’s membership in the Green Finance Alliance, an initiative of the Federal Ministry for Climate Action (BMK), since May 2022.
Preliminary consolidated key figures for 2022 in detail
UNIQA’s total volume of premiums written increased in 2022 – taking into account the savings portions from unit-linked and index-linked life insurance – they climbed 3.9 per cent to €6,605.2 million (2021: €6,358.0 million). In the area of insurance policies with recurring premium payments, there was an encouraging increase of 3.7 per cent to €6,439.8 million (2021: €6,207.8 million).
Premiums written in property and casualty insurance grew by 5.6 per cent to €3,686.0 million in 2022 (2021: €3,489.5 million) due to index adjustments and a good sales performance. In health insurance, premiums written rose by 4.1 per cent to €1,277.3 million in the reporting period due to premium adjustments (2021: €1,226.5 million). In life insurance, premiums written, including savings portions from the unit-linked and index-linked life insurance, remained stable overall at €1,641.9 million (2021: €1,642.0 million).
Consolidated net insurance benefits dropped by 0.2 per cent to €4,095.8 million in the past year despite an increased premium income (2021: €4,104.2 million).
In spite of a significant burden from natural catastrophes and major losses due to favourable basic loss development and a good settlement result, the loss ratio after reinsurance in property and casualty insurance decreased to 61.1 per cent in 2022 (2021: 61.3 per cent). The combined ratio after reinsurance therefore improved to 92.9 per cent due to the lower cost ratio at Group level (2021: 93.7 per cent).
Total consolidated operating expenses, less reinsurance commissions received and the share of profit from reinsurance ceded, rose by 3.8 per cent to €1,711.7 million in the 2022 financial year (2021: €1,648.5 million). Other operating expenses included in this decreased by 11.5 per cent to €547.9 million (2021: €619.4 million). This includes expenses amounting to around €45 million (2021: around €60 million) as part of the innovation and investment programme.
The cost ratio after reinsurance, i.e. the ratio of total operating expenses less the amounts received from reinsurance commission and share of profit from reinsurance ceded to the Group premiums earned, including savings portions from unit-linked and index-linked life insurance, increased to 27.2 per cent during the past year (2021: 27.4 per cent).
The UNIQA Group’s investment portfolio (including investment property, financial assets accounted for using the equity method and other investments) decreased by 15.4 per cent to €18,425.6 million in the 2022 financial year (31 December 2021: €21,785.0 million).
Net investment income fell by 37.4 per cent to €405.7 million (2021: €648.0 million). This was mainly due to impairments on fund certificates and fixed-income securities. In particular, the impairment of Russian and Ukrainian bonds in the amount of around €142 million as well as additional impairments on the investment in RBI amounting to €28 million had a negative effect on net investment income.
The UNIQA Group’s technical result increased by 96.2 per cent to €410.5 million in 2022 due to the improved cost development and the favourable claim load (2021: €209.2 million). However, operating profit fell by 12.2 per cent to €516.0 million (2021: €588.0 million) due to the lower net investment income.
Earnings before taxes at UNIQA nevertheless increased by 10.3 per cent to €421.7 million (2021: €382.3 million).
The consolidated profit/(loss) (share of the profit/(loss) for the period attributable to the shareholders of UNIQA Insurance Group AG) therefore amounted to €383.0 million (2021: €314.7 million). Earnings per share rose as a result to €1.25 (2021: €1.03).
The equity attributable to the shareholders of UNIQA Insurance Group AG fell by €1,269.6 million in the financial year now ended to €2,034.0 million (31 December 2021: €3,303.6 million). The reason for this was the fall in the measurement of financial instruments available for sale through the sharp increase in the general interest rate level in 2022. Non-controlling interests came to €18.3 million (31 December 2021: €19.7 million). The Group’s total assets amounted to €28,196.2 million as at 31 December 2022 (31 December 2021: €31,547.8 million).
The average number of employees at the UNIQA Group fell in 2022 to 14,515 (2021: 14,849).
For the 2023 financial year, UNIQA aims to continue with the improvements in its core business. However, due to the expected unstable macroeconomic development, the current financial year – just like the 2022 financial year – will be characterised by significant uncertainties, partly due to volatile capital markets, high interest sensitivities in the capital investments, uncertainty regarding the development of inflation and the generally increasing losses from natural catastrophes. These are the reasons why no outlook for earnings development can be given for the 2023 financial year.
Clause regarding predictions about the future
This communication contains statements that refer to the future development of UNIQA. These statements present estimations that 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 vary from the results currently expected. This is why no guarantee can be provided for the information given.