Sustainable increase in earnings: Vienna Insurance Group in the first half-year of 2011



  • Group premiums up 3.1 percent at over EUR 4.7 billion
  • Continuing upward trend in life insurance in CEE core markets
  • Strong growth in property/casualty insurance
  • Profit (before taxes) up 10.4 percent at EUR 282.2 million
  • CEE markets account for more than 50 percent of premiums and profit
  • VIG is already number 3 insurer in Poland

“Vienna Insurance Group continued to show a strong, highly stable development in the first half-year of 2011. Premiums grew by 3.1 percent, a rate slightly higher than the first quarter. Profit before taxes rose by 10.4 percent to EUR 282.2 million, showing that we are well on our way to achieving our target of a 10 percent increase. The success of our CEE strategy is shown by the fact that the profit contribution from these markets already exceeds that from Austria”, stated Günter GeyerCEO of Vienna Insurance Group“Life insurance posted a small drop in Austria, while the Czech Republic showed strong growth. Non-life premium income rose sharply by 7.6 percent, with particularly pleasing results in Poland, where growth was 19.4 percent,” stated Günter Geyer with respect to premium growth. “In my view, we can be very proud that these results position the Group among the top performers in the European competitive environment.”

The Vienna Insurance Group earned a total of EUR 4.7 billion premiums written (consolidated) in the first half-year 2011, up 3.1 percent compared to first half-year 2010.

The Group profit (before taxes, consolidated) amounted to EUR 282.2 million in the first half-year 2011. This represented a sharp 10.4 percent increase compared to first half-year 2010.

The Group combined ratio after reinsurance (excluding investment income) came in at 97.1 percent for the first half-year of 2011, following 98.3 percent for first half-year 2010.

The Vienna Insurance Group held investments of approximately EUR 29.0 billion (incl. bank balances) as at 30 June 2011, and posted a financial result of EUR 554.2 million.


EUR 2.6 billion in premiums were written in property/casualty, up 7.6 percent.

Life insurance
The Group companies of Vienna Insurance Group wrote approximately EUR 2.0 billion (down 2.7 percent) in life insurance premiums.  Direct regular premiums increased by 3.9 percent, while single-premiums (direct premiums) declined 10.8 percent, mainly due to a statutory change in the minimum lock-up period in Austria.

Health insurance
In the health insurance segment the Vienna Insurance Group achieved premiums written of EUR 180.7 million. This represented an increase of 9.6 percent, which was largely due to the first-time consolidation of the Group companies in Georgia in the second half of 2010.


The Vienna Insurance Group companies in Austria wrote EUR 2.2 billion in premiums (down 3.8 percent) in the first half-year of 2011. Premiums written in property/casualty grew 7.7 percent to more than EUR 1.0 billion. Life insurance premiums dropped by 14.0 percent to approximately EUR 1.0 billion due to a statutory change in the minimum lock-up period for single-premium policies. The Group wrote premiums of EUR 169.3 million in the health insurance segment, representing an increase of 2.6 percent.

First half-year profit (before taxes) increased 1.4 percent to EUR 140.0 million.
The combined ratio improved to reach an excellent level of 94.4 percent.

Czech Republic
Group companies in the Czech Republic increased premiums written by 12.0 percent to reach EUR 973.7 million.

Non-life premiums written rose by 4.4 percent to EUR 542.3 million. In life insurance, premiums written soared 23.3 percent to EUR 431.5 million.

The Vienna Insurance Group companies in the Czech Republic achieved a market share of 30.3 percent in the first half-year of 2011, making them number 1 in the insurance market.

Profit (before taxes) rose notably by 35.0 percent compared to first half-year 2010 to EUR 91.3 million.

The combined ratio was an excellent 93.6 percent, 2 percentage points below the level for first half-year 2010.

The Vienna Insurance Group companies in Slovakia increased premiums written by 3.9 percent to EUR 339.0 million.

Non-life premiums written rose 2.4 percent to EUR 171.3 million, while life insurance achieved strong growth of 5.4 percent in premiums written to reach EUR 167.7 million.

Group companies increased market share to 32.2 percent in the first half-year of 2011, thereby consolidating their position as number 1 in the Slovakian insurance market.

Profit (before taxes) amounted to EUR 28.6 million, representing a 121.6 percent jump compared to first half-year 2010.

The combined ratio stood at 95.3 percent.

The Group companies in Poland surged 43.7 percent in premiums written to EUR 498.1 million.

Non-life premiums written rose by 19.4 percent to EUR 323.3 million, and life insurance premiums written soared 131.0 percent to EUR 174.8 million.
Profit (before taxes) rose 140.3 percent compared to first half-year 2010 to EUR 24.6 million.

The combined ratio fell by more than 5 percentage points to 100 percent.

The economy in Romania is currently affected by government austerity measures which consequently dampen economic growth. This also affects the insurance market, in particular the motor leasing business.

In light of this, first half-year 2011 premiums rose slightly by 0.6 percent to a total of EUR 275.8 million and EUR 1.6 million profit before taxes.

Due to premium write-offs in the motor leasing business, non-life premiums written edged down to EUR 225.2 million. In life insurance, however, premiums written rose by 4.6 percent to EUR 50.5 million.

Due to first consequences of the restructuring measures the combined ratio fell approximately 4 percentage points to 105.9 percent despite an increase in the claims reserve compared to first quarter 2011.

“The planned merger of the two non-life insurance companies Omniasig and BCR will streamline and strengthen our market presence. The resulting synergies are supposed to boost our earnings power in this market. The first steps needed to implement this merger were initiated at the beginning of August”,
 commented Günter Geyer with respect to the restructuring that has begun in Romania.
Remaining markets

The remaining markets segment includes Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Group companies in this segment wrote EUR 410.3 million in premiums. Non-life premiums written surged by 16.5 percent to EUR 270.4 million, while life insurance premiums declined to EUR 139.9 million principally due to a drop in single premium business in Liechtenstein.

This segment reported an operating profit of EUR 17.1 million in the first half-year of 2011. As a result of the highly conservative policy being followed by the Vienna Insurance Group, insurance portfolios are being amortised in this segment. When this effect is taken into account, the segment shows a loss (before taxes) of EUR 3.9 million.

The combined ratio fell 1 percentage point to just 100 percent.

For many years, the management of Vienna Insurance Group has aspired to minimise volatility in premiums and profit while ensuring a strong capital base for the Group. Continuing this successful and durable strategy, Vienna Insurance Group expects an increase in profit (before taxes) of about 10 percent and a low percentage growth of premium. Moreover, the Group has set itself the target of holding the combined ratio at about 97 percent.  The prerequisite is, however, that the economic and legal framework will not deteriorate significantly and that damage caused by natural disasters will not develop dramatically.

16 VIG 1 HY 2011 Eng
pdf (100 KB) 18/08/2011
16 Presentation VIG 1 HY 2011 ENG
pdf (474 KB) 18/08/2011
16 VIG 1 HY 2011 Cz
pdf (171 KB) 18/08/2011
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