Vienna Insurance Group is the leading insurance group in Austria and the CEE region and recorded a very good business development in 2014. The Group wrote direct unconsolidated premiums of around EUR 9.4 billion, thereby reaching the same level as the previous year in spite of negative exchange rate effects. Organic growth was 2.6 percent without special effects. With premium growth of 10 percent the countries consolidated in the "Remaining Markets" segment prove their great potential.
GROUP COMPANIES TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES
In spite of considerable exchange rate effects (EUR -105 million) and a large reduction in Donau Versicherung's Italian business (EUR -96 million), premiums of around EUR 4.7 billion were once again achieved in the property and casualty segment.
In Austria, the above-average growth recorded by Wiener Städtische Versicherung compensated for the reduction in Italian business. Vienna Insurance Group increased its property and casualty premiums by around three percent in local currency terms in the two established CEE markets Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Although the market environment continues to be difficult in Romania, the measures taken there began to show an effect. For the first time in years, the property and casualty business showed a slight increase of 0.3 percent in local currency terms.
The countries in the "Remaining Markets" segment once again recorded highly dynamic growth. In Georgia and Albania, property and casualty business showed impressive growth of around 50 percent each in local terms. A significantly double-digit growth was notably achieved also in Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia. This illustrates the strategic importance of Vienna Insurance Group's presence throughout the entire CEE region.
Due to strong competition in many countries in the motor business, Vienna Insurance Group intentionally focused on other property insurance and generated growth by this differentiated market approach.
STEADY GROWTH IN PROPERTY LINES OF BUSINESS
Vienna Insurance Group is focusing in particular on the areas of home and household insurance and small and medium-sized businesses resp. corporate business. In spite of the economic crisis, innovative products have allowed to achieve premiums of a total of around EUR 2.7 billion in this segment. This is an extraordinarily positive performance in light of the subdued economic environment.
Particularly noteworthy are the increases achieved in this sector in Austria (+3.9 percent) and Slovakia (+7.7 percent). The smaller CEE markets also recorded good performance in the property lines of business. Remarkable growth, for example, was achieved in Croatia (+6.6 percent), Serbia (+24.3 percent), Bosnia (+60.3 percent) and Georgia (+74.8 percent) in local terms.
UKRAINE: IMPRESSIVE GROWTH
In spite of the military conflict and political uncertainty prevailing in this market, all four Vienna Insurance Group companies achieved significant overall growth of 15.9 percent in local terms. Motor third party liability premiums grew by 26.5 percent, and growth in the property lines of business was 19.3 percent. Particularly in times of crisis, customers are placing their trust in the financial soundness of the Ukrainian Vienna Insurance Group companies.
LIFE INSURANCE: UPWARD TRENDS IN THE CEE REGION
Vienna Insurance Group recorded an increase of 1.4 percent in life insurance premiums to around EUR 4.3 billion. The growth in life insurance was mainly due to distribution successes in the Remaining Markets segment. The overall growth in this line of business is all the more gratifying given the significant decrease in low-margin short-term single-premium business that was once again recorded in Poland.
In Austria, the strong growth of 8.5 percent achieved in single-premium business was primarily driven by the dynamic performance of Wiener Städtische Versicherung. In addition, group companies in many CEE markets achieved double-digit growth in local terms in the single-premium business. Particularly noteworthy examples are the Baltic States (+29.2 percent), Bulgaria (+39.0 percent), Croatia (+44.6 percent) and Hungary (+35.2 percent).
In terms of current premiums, the Polish group companies achieved an increase of 86.1 percent. Double-digit growth was also recorded in this area by the group companies in Bulgaria, Serbia, the Baltic States, Macedonia and Montenegro.
THE BALTIC STATES – TOP PERFORMANCE BY VIG IN LIFE INSURANCE
Vienna Insurance Group more than tripled its life insurance business in the Baltic States as a result of average annual growth rates of 25.5 percent in previous years. Premiums totalled EUR 51.6 million in 2014.
VIENNA INSURANCE GROUP TAKES ADVANTAGE OF GROWTH POTENTIAL
These growth figures prove that the Austrian and CEE markets offer great opportunities, even in a difficult economic market environment. The Group is able to take advantage of these opportunities. As a result, Vienna Insurance Group has strengthened its major lead over its competitors with a market share of around 20 percent in its core markets.
* These figures are based on preliminary data and are unconsolidated and unaudited.