It is a stated goal of the Vienna Insurance Group to offer customers and investors great stability in spite of fluctuations in the economy. That is precisely what the Group did in 2009 by achieving a profit before taxes of EUR 441.25 million. The Vienna Insurance Group provided outstanding performance in the previous two years and continues to display further successful growth.
In 2010, the management of the Vienna Insurance Group expects a single-digit increase in premiums, and expects profit before taxes to grow by about 10%.
Forward-looking action programme
The Vienna Insurance Group continues to pursue the goal of keeping its combined ratio significantly below 100% throughout the economic cycle. An efficiency improvement project was started in order to ensure that this goal was realised. Many of the measures in this Group-wide, forward-looking action programme, which focuses on material expenses and extensive process improvements at both the individual company and Group levels, were already successfully introduced in 2009, leading to EUR 60 million in cost reductions. Company management expects that the entire optimisation potential of EUR 100 million can be made full use of in 2010.
Reorganisation of Group structure
A reorganisation of the Group's structure is also planned for 2010. As a result of its expansion into the markets of the CEE region, the Vienna Insurance Group has now grown to include around 50 companies. To better prepare for the challenges this brings, the Group believes that the next logical step is to establish a listed Group holding company under the name Vienna Insurance Group AG Wiener Versicherung Gruppe*. The Wiener Städtische insurance company, the largest single company in the Group and the leading insurance company in Austria, will continue its insurance business operations in Austria.
* New company name subject to approval by the appropriate executive bodies of the Company as well as approval and registration of the amendment to the articles of association in the company register.