The Vienna Insurance Group includes around 50 insurance companies that are in the property/casualty and life insurance business and, in some countries, in the health insurance business as well. These three insurance segments are presented in the Group report, broken down by business line.
To present the geographical development of business in the Group in a clear manner, the 23 countries in which the Group operates are divided into seven regional segments: Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Other CEE markets and Other markets (Germany, Liechtenstein). The markets of Georgia, Russia and Belarus were not yet included within the scope of consolidation of the Vienna Insurance Group in 2009.
Premium volume exceeds EUR 8 billion mark for the first time
The Vienna Insurance Group generated an outstanding premium volume of EUR 8,019.28 million in 2009, representing an increase of EUR 120.42 million, or 1.5%, over the prior year. The Vienna Insurance Group retained EUR 7,287.86 million of the gross premiums written and ceded EUR 731.42 million to reinsurers. A particularly large contribution to the increase in premiums came from the Czech Republic, where premiums increased by 12.9%. Premiums increased in Slovakia by 3.8% over the year before.
Overall, the Group generated 49.0% of its premiums in the CEE region in 2009. In property and casualty insurance, the CEE companies contributed 61.0% of the total property and casualty business. In the life insurance area, 39.1% of premiums were generated in the CEE region.
Net earned premiums rose 4.0%, from EUR 6,961.61 million in 2008 to EUR 7,242.28 million in 2009, and deferred reinsurance cessions were EUR 779.36 million.
Expenses for claims and insurance benefits
Expenses for claims and insurance benefits were EUR 5,877.16 million in 2009 after deducting the share attributable to reinsurance (EUR 461.27 million). This represents an increase of EUR 269.80 million, or 4.8%.
Total operating expenses for all of the consolidated companies in the Vienna Insurance Group were EUR 1,649.42 million in 2009, including acquisition costs and less reinsurance commissions received, which represents an increase of 5.6% over the previous year. Acquisition costs were EUR 1,389.46 million in 2009, an increase of 1.0% compared to 2008.
Profit before taxes
The Vienna Insurance Group’s 2009 profit before taxes of EUR 441.25 million exceeded its record profit in 2007.
Earnings per share
Earnings per share, which is the Group profit for the year divided by the average number of shares outstanding, was EUR 2.66 in 2009.
Combined ratio significantly below 100%
The Group’s combined ratio (after reinsurance, not including investment income) was 96.3% in 2009.
The Vienna Insurance Group had a financial result of EUR 929.97 million in 2009. In spite of the negative effects of the international financial crisis, this was an increase of 1.8%, or EUR 16.03 million, thereby confirming that the Group’s decision to follow a conservative investment policy was correct.
Investments rise above EUR 25 billion
The Vienna Insurance Group held investments totalling EUR 25,894.05 million as of 31 December 2009. This represented an increase of EUR 1,346.49 million or 5.5% relative to 2008. These investments include all land and buildings of the Vienna Insurance Group, all shares in at equity consolidated companies, and all financial instruments. They do not include investments for unit-linked and index-linked life insurance, which rose 28.5%, from EUR 3,602.40 million to EUR 4,628.45 million, in 2009.
Investments were EUR 4,133.40 million (+10.2%) in the property and casualty area as of 31 December 2009, and rose by 4.6%, from EUR 19,965.45 million to EUR 20,883.64 million, in the life insurance area. Vienna Insurance Group investments in the health insurance area reached EUR 877.01 million (+5.6%) as of 31 December 2009.
The Vienna Insurance Group’s capital base increased by 11.8%, to EUR 4,628.57 million, in 2009 (2008: EUR 4,138.79 million).
Underwriting provisions were EUR 22,578.26 million as of 31 December 2009. This meant that the Vienna Insurance Group’s underwriting provisions were 4.1% higher than on 31 December 2008.
Underwriting provisions rose 4.1% compared to 2008, to EUR 4,271.35 million, in the property and casualty area, 4.0%, to EUR 17,454.17 million, in the life insurance area, and 6.0%, to EUR 852.75 million, in the health insurance area as of 31 December 2009.
Underwriting provisions for unit-linked and index-linked life insurance also increased, from EUR 3,346.77 million in 2008 to EUR 4,376.16 million, up 30.8%.
RoE (Return on Equity)
RoE describes the relationship between Group profit and the Vienna Insurance Group’s total average equity. The Group generated a return on equity (RoE) of 10.0% in 2009 (2008: 14.3%).
The cash flow from operating activities was EUR 1,989.65 million in 2009, and the cash flow from investing activities was EUR -2,163.16 million. The largest items in the cash flow from investing activities resulted from the acquisition of securities available for sale and the acquisition of fully consolidated and at equity consolidated companies. The Vienna Insurance Group’s financing activities produced a cash flow of EUR 2.65 million as compared to EUR 1,173.69 million in 2008. The Vienna Insurance Group had cash and cash equivalents of EUR 484.52 million at the end of 2009, receiving a total of EUR 884.04 million in interest and dividends during that same year.