Group and Profit
The strategy of consistent internationalisation
The strategy of consistent internationalisation through
commitment to the high-growth markets of Eastern and
south-eastern Europe secures our future as an independent
UNIQA secures its future as one of the major market players
Central and Eastern Europe with a growth strategy of consistent
internationalisation through development, primarily,
growing new markets of Eastern and south-
Europe. As Austrias leading insurance group, we view this
as the basis for a sustained, profit-conscious expansion
and for securing our independence.
We are investing significant funds and personnel management
capacities in the development of markets within and beyond the
eastern boarder of the European Union. The countries of Central
Eastern Europe (CEE) as well as the Eastern Emerging Markets
(EEM) still exhibit underdeveloped insurance density and penetration
in all sectors, and harbour enormous potential. They
make a growing contribution to our further expansion and to
an improvement in the profitability of the UNIQA Group.
- Eastern Europe as growth driver
The UNIQA Group companies in Eastern Europe enjoyed
growth rates far above average, improving their
premium incomes in 2007 by 27.6% to €816 million,
thereby increasing their share in total Group premium
income to 15.5%. The property and accident insurance
lines as well as the life insurance business have developed
exceptionally dynamically in this growth region.
- Austria as firm foundation
The Austrian market remained a firm foundation for
the company, with a rise in premium income by 2.8%
to €3.5 billion and a share in the Group premium income
In consideration of the activities focused on profitable insurance
niches in Western Central Europe (WCE), we now operate with
approximately 11,000 employees and numerous partners in
19 markets outside of Austria, from the Adriatic to the Baltic Sea
and from Lake Constance to the Black Sea. With a Group-wide
total of 5.7 million customers and 13 million contracts, a Group
premium income of €5.3 billion, a profit on ordinary activities
of €340 million and capital investments exceeding €21.5 billion,
UNIQA numbers among the leading insurance groups in
Central and Eastern Europe.
Investment in Albanias largest insurance company
UNIQA has consistently taken additional steps in accordance with
its Go East strategy. In March 2007, we signed a cooperation
agreement with SIGAL, the leading insurance company in Albania
with its head office in the capital of Tirana. With a market share
of 28%, SIGAL is not only the largest insurance company in the
country by far, it also has subsidiaries and branches
in Macedonia (market share 6%) and in Kosovo (market
SIGAL has frequently been recognised as Albanias best insurance
company and offers products in all insurance lines via a
comprehensive sales network. For the last two years, SIGAL has
been expanding with two-digit growth rates. Jointly developed
products by UNIQA and SIGAL in life and health insurance have
already been positioned on the market during 2007.
Based on the positive experiences throughout the cooperation,
UNIQA also decided to partially take advantage of the option
for acquiring an equity majority by 2010 somewhat earlier than
that. The decision to acquire 46% of SIGALs share capital was
passed in December 2007. This is a clear declaration of our commitment
to this dynamically developing region that harbours
exceptional potential due to the significantly below-average
penetration of the insurance market compared with Western
particularly in the area of life insurance.
In 2007, we continued sucessfully our campaign
An insurance of a new generation.
In Eastern Central Europe, UNIQA is pursuing
a uniform brand policy.
Property insurance company founded in Serbia
As the next step into the new markets, we took over the fifthlargest
insurance company in Serbia in January 2007, rebranded
it with the UNIQA name and made it the first company in the
Serbian market to implement the required product-line separation.
The new UNIQA property insurance company started in the
middle of last year with automotive insurance policies for liability
and collision, as well as new features such as family rebates.
In product design, marketing and sales, we were able to take
advantage of the experiences of the UNIQA Group from the
roughly four million vehicle contracts in Western, Eastern and
south-eastern Europe. In selling the new automotive insurance
products, we rely on cooperative agreements with vehicle inspection
stations in addition to our own field service agents and
The head office of the Serbian property insurer is the newly
erected UNIQA headquarters in Belgrade, which also offers space
for a branch of our cooperation partner in Serbia, Raiffeisenbank.
Along with the opening of the modern office building, we also
worked with two neighbouring schools to bring into being the
schools without violence project supported by UNIQA.
Investments in Bulgaria expanded
With the name change to UNIQA and the simultaneous upgrading
of our investment to a majority of 62% in Vitosha, Bulgarias
fifth-largest insurance company with activities in property and
life insurance, we have sent another signal of our growing commitment
in south-eastern Europe.
|33% international business. Including
the premium incomes from the Western European countries,
already one third of the total Group premium income came
from abroad in 2007. This share will continue to increase
at above-average rates in the future.
In addition to cooperation with the previous majority partner,
our strategic partnership with Raiffeisenbank has, once again,
proven itself as a strong growth driver in the rapidly expanding
Bulgarian market. Thanks to the significantly above-average
expansion of the property and life insurance business, the two
new UNIQA Group companies were able to increase their market
share in Bulgaria to a total of roughly 8.2%. With a market share
of over 15%, UNIQA already ranks third on the market in the
life insurance area.
Massive expansion of the presence in the Ukraine
Shortly before the end of the year, UNIQA expanded its commitment
in the Ukraine, one of the most promising and largest
in the Eastern Emerging Markets. We increased our
participation in one of the largest property insurers,
Credo-Classic, to an initial 61% and indirectly increased to over
90% our stake in the life insurer UNIQA LIFE, founded jointly
with Credo-Classic and with the head office in Kiev.
We are very well situated in the Ukraine thanks to the cooperation
with the second-largest bank in the country the Raiffeisen bank
Aval with 1,300 branches and roughly four million customers
as well as the extensive modernisation of the product range,
restructuring and expansion of the sales network. We will consistently
take advantage of the opportunities in this prospering
insurance market with a population of roughly 47 million, to
continue our expansion in Eastern Europe.
Our activities in the Eastern Emerging Markets are built upon
the enormous growth prospects offered by the countries on
the eastern border of the European Union. The successful
cooperation with the Raiffeisen bank group is an important
strategic advantage in this area, and also a major cornerstone
for our start in Serbia and the Ukraine.
Health insurance for Croatia
||Health insurance for Croatia: In May 2007, the strongly expanding
company UNIQA osiguranje in Croatia introduced its new health insurance
product onto the market. The product introduction was accompanied
by a print advertising campaign and various public relations activities.
- UNIQA Hungary becomes a super brand
UNIQA Biztosító was selected by an expert jury of
Superbrands, an independent organisation founded
in 1995, as one of the best Hungarian brands that offers
consumers advantages over its competition. Our Group
company, which offers special insurance protection for
skiers, divers and recently also participants in boating
regattas, has expanded its diverse sports sponsoring
in 2007, as a supporter of the National Association of
Hungarian Basketball Players and sponsor of the UNIQA
Regatta large-boat championship on Lake Balaton.
- Golden Coin for UNIQA Slovakia
In the competition for the Golden Coin for the best
banking and insurance products in Slovakia, UNIQA polšťovňa once again received high rankings in multiple
categories, as well as in the symposium of the Slovakian
insurance brokers association as one of the best insurance
companies of 2007 in the area of automotive
- UNIQA Poland receives multiple awards
With new insurance offerings, UNIQA Poland strengthens
its market position and the credibility of the brand.
The bundled product Insurance for Small and Medium-
Sized Companies was recognised by the business paper
Gazeta Finansowa as the best product in the category
of property insurance. In addition, UNIQA received the
Bronze Laurel of Customers 2007 from the Media
New headquarters for UNIQA Czech Republic
The dynamic business developments of our Group company
in the Czech Republic made it necessary to build a new headquarters
for roughly 280 employees, which was opened in
spring of 2007. The company, which has received one of the
best ratings from Standard & Poors within the Czech market
and numbers among the top ten, impresses customers with
comprehensive solutions in life insurance as well as the nonlife
sector, and profits, in particular, from cooperation with the
Czech Raiffeisenbank, in addition to its presence at 100 locations
throughout the country.
With the opening of the new headquarters, UNIQA presented
a unique historical document: the Chronicle of the Life and
Suffering of Saint Wenceslas, long thought lost, has now been
purchased by us. We made an important contribution to the
tradition and cultural history of the Czech Republic by bringing
this unique illuminated manuscript from the year 1585 back
At the opening of the new head office in Prague, UNIQA purchased the historical
document: Chronicle of the Life and Suffering of St. Wenceslas.
Mannheimer AG Holding restructured
Mannheimer AG Holding is implementing a new customer
and process-oriented organisational structure with a specially
tracking system in the Western European markets.
The system is comprised of three areas that simplify the coordination
process, reduce interfaces and optimise customer
service. In addition, a new work model with an employment
guarantee for roughly 800 employees up to the year 2012 was
agreed upon, and is considered by local media to be exemplary
for the industry.
EBRD supports further international expansion
Our company strategy of consistent internationalisation received
new support in 2007. In November, the European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) expanded its cooperation
with UNIQA, which has been in place since 1998,
and increased the framework agreement from €70 million
to €150 million.
This provides new financial scope for the
of minority investments by EBRD in existing UNIQA
in Central and Eastern Europe.
EBRD has already invested in UNIQA Group companies in four
Eastern and south-eastern European countries, and now the
signing of the new framework agreement also placed a takeover
of 20% of UNIQA Osiguranje in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the
agenda. On the other hand, EBRD has pulled out of the Czech
UNIQA company as planned after eight years of successful cooperation.
Standard & Poors confirms strong financial position
The financial strength of the UNIQA Group was confirmed by the
international ratings agency Standard & Poors again in 2008, at
A level with a stable outlook. The main reasons for this were
the convincing competitive position in Austria, the strong operational
performance and the growing share of international
business. The successful profit improvement programme that has
massively increased profitability in recent years and will generate
further profit growth up to 2010, was also recognised.