With a premium volume written (including savings portions from the unit-linked and index-linked life insurance) of €5,048.2 million, the UNIQA Group is among the leading insurance groups in Central and Eastern Europe. The savings portion from the unit-linked and index-linked life insurance in the amount of €405.1 million was set off against the change in insurance provision, pursuant to FAS 97 (US GAAP). Without taking the savings portion from the unit-linked and index-linked life insurance into consideration, the premium volume written amounted to €4,643.1 million.
UNIQA in Europe
UNIQA offers its products and services via all distribution channels (hired sales force, general agencies, brokers, banks and direct sales) and covers the entire range of insurance lines. UNIQA is the second-largest insurance group in Austria, with a presence in 15 countries of the CEE growth region: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. In addition, insurance companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also part of the UNIQA Group.
The listed holding company UNIQA Insurance Group AG manages the Group and also operates the indirect insurance business. Moreover, it carries out numerous service functions for UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG and international Group companies, in order to take best advantage of synergy effects and to consistently implement the Group’s long-term corporate strategy.
UNIQA International AG manages the international activities of the Group. This entity is also responsible for the ongoing monitoring and analysis of the international target markets and for acquisitions and post-merger integration.
Property and casualty insurance
The property and casualty insurance line includes property insurance for private persons and companies, as well as private casualty insurance. The UNIQA Group received premiums written in property and casualty insurance in 2016 in the amount of €2,518.4 million, which is 49.9 per cent of total premium volume. The largest share by far in the volume of property and casualty insurance comes from consumer business. Most property and casualty insurance policies are concluded at short notice, with a term of up to three years. Broad distribution across a great many customers and the relatively short duration of these products enables moderate capital requirements and makes this field of business attractive.
Health insurance includes voluntary health insurance for private customers, commercial preventive healthcare and opt-out offers for certain independent contractors such as lawyers, architects, and chemists. Group-wide in 2016, premiums written totalled €1,003.7 million, or 19.9 per cent of total premium volume. UNIQA is the undisputed market leader in this strategically important line of insurance in Austria with a 47 per cent market share. The overwhelming majority – about 95 per cent of premiums – come from Austria, with the remaining 5 per cent from international business.
Life insurance includes savings products such as classic and unit-linked life insurance. There are also biometric products to secure against such risks as occupational disability, nursing or death. Life insurance covers economic risks that stem from the uncertainty as to how long a customer will live. In life insurance, UNIQA reached a premium volume (including savings portions from unit-linked and index-linked life insurance) Group-wide in 2016 of €1,526.1 million, or 30.2 per cent of overall premium volume. The life insurance business model is oriented towards the long term: policy terms are around 25 years on average. Life insurance is currently facing major challenges though, as the low-interest environment particularly affects all long-term forms of saving and investment, and therefore life insurance as well.
UNIQA creates a new corporate group structure
In January 2016 the UNIQA Group Management Board, with the agreement of the Supervisory Board, approved a comprehensive investment programme to reorient processes and products to the changing needs and expectations of customers in the context of digital transformation. This innovation and investment programme, which is the biggest in the Company’s history, is split over several years and has a total value of around €500 million.
Following the decision to implement this programme, UNIQA is also aligning the Group structure to meet the strategic objectives and challenges of the future. The Group Management Board and the Supervisory Board decided in early March 2016 to create a new, tight Group structure with a functional organisation and Group-wide responsibilities. Since 1 June 2016 the Management Board of the listed holding company UNIQA Insurance Group AG has consisted of three members.
Our four operational direct insurers in Austria were merged into one company. FINANCE LIFE Lebensversicherung AG, Raiffeisen Versicherung AG and Salzburger Landes-Versicherung AG were merged with UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG as the acquiring company. The insurance portfolios of the existing four companies were thereby consolidated in UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG. This has allowed greater speed, more efficiency and increased innovative capacity, while ensuring a significant reduction in Board positions at the same time.
Concentration on the core business
In early December 2016, with the approval of the Supervisory Board, the Group Management Board of UNIQA decided to sell the Italian subsidiaries UNIQA Assicurazioni SpA, UNIQA Previdenza SpA and UNIQA Life SpA to an Italian insurance group. This strengthens our focus on the core insurance business in Austria as well as Central and Eastern Europe.
The sale of the Italian companies is classified as discontinued operations. The assets and liabilities associated with the discontinued operations are stated in the consolidated statement of financial position under the assets and liabilities in disposal groups held for sale. The profit and loss of the discontinued operations is presented in the consolidated income statement under the item “Profit/(loss) from discontinued operations (after tax)”. The closing of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2017 once all necessary official approvals have been obtained.
The UNIQA Group also sold its minority holdings in Niederösterreichische Versicherung AG and Raiffeisen evolution project development GmbH in 2016.
In early 2017, UNIQA decided to dispose of indirect holdings in the amount of 11.35 per cent in Casinos Austria Aktiengesellschaft to CAME Holding GmbH. The required permissions are expected by the first half of 2018 at the latest. After concluding the transaction, UNIQA expects a capital profit of about €47.6 million.
In 2016 the rating agency Standard & Poor’s confirmed the rating of UNIQA Insurance Group AG as “A–”. The ratings of UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG and the Group’s reinsurer UNIQA Re AG in Switzerland also remained “A”. UNIQA Versicherung AG in Liechtenstein received an “A–”. Standard & Poor’s rates the outlook for all the companies as stable. The rating of the UNIQA subordinated capital bond continues to be “BBB”.
Companies included in the IFRS consolidated financial statements
In addition to the annual financial statements of UNIQA Insurance Group AG, the consolidated financial statements include the financial statements of all subsidiaries in Austria and abroad. The basis of consolidation comprised – including UNIQA Insurance Group AG – 54 Austrian (2015: 56) and 62 international (2015: 67) subsidiaries. The associates are six domestic (2015: 8) and one international company (2015: 1) that were included in the consolidated financial statements using equity method accounting.
Details on the consolidated companies and associates are contained in the corresponding overview in the consolidated financial statements. The accounting policies are also described in the consolidated financial statements.
UNIQA’s comprehensive risk report is included in the notes to the 2016 consolidated financial statements.
Corporate Governance Report
Since 2004, UNIQA has pledged to comply with the Austrian Code of Corporate Governance. UNIQA publishes its consolidated Corporate Governance Report at www.uniqagroup.com in the Investor Relations section.