UNIQA provides life and health insurance and is active in almost all lines of property and casualty insurance. It serves about 10.0 million customers, over 19.3 million insurance contracts with a premium volume written (including savings portions from the unit-linked and index-linked life insurance) of about € 6.3 billion (2014: € 6.1 billion) and investments of € 29.4 billion (2014: € 29.0 billion). UNIQA is the second-largest insurer in Austria, has a strong network in Central and Eastern Europe with a presence in 15 countries and is additionally active in Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
UNIQA’s total premium volume increased in 2015, taking into account the savings portions of the unit-linked and index-linked life insurance in the amount of € 485.4 million (2014: € 544.7 million), by 4.3 per cent to € 6,325.1 million (2014: € 6,064.4 million). The total consolidated premium volume written rose by 5.8 per cent to € 5,839.7 million (2014: € 5,519.7 million).
In the area of insurance policies with recurring premium payments, there was a rise of 0.6 per cent to € 5,131.2 million (2014: € 5,102.7 million). In the single premium business the premium volume increased by 24.2 per cent to € 1,194.0 million (2014: € 961.6 million) due to very strong growth in the Raiffeisen Insurance Austria segment and in Italy.
The Group premiums earned, including savings portions from the unit-linked and index-linked life insurance (after reinsurance) in the amount of € 469.3 million (2014: € 526.1 million), rose by 4.5 per cent to € 6,102.8 million (2014: € 5,839.0 million). The volume of premiums earned (net, according to IFRS) increased by 6.0 per cent to € 5,633.5 million (2014: € 5,312.9 million).
In the 2015 financial year, 41.8 per cent (2014: 43.2 per cent) of the premium volume written (including savings portions from the unit-linked and index-linked life insurance) arose in property and casualty insurance, 15.8 per cent (2014: 15.8 per cent) in health insurance and 42.5 per cent (2014: 40.9 per cent) in life insurance.
Development of insurance benefits
The insurance benefits before reinsurance (see Note 33 in the consolidated financial statements) rose in the 2015 financial year by 5.1 per cent to € 4,749.9 million (2014: € 4,517.7 million). Consolidated net insurance benefits also increased in the past year by 5.1 per cent to € 4,607.6 million (2014: € 4,383.7 million), principally on account of the sharp increase in single premium business and the negative impact of hailstorms in the third quarter of 2015 amounting to € 30 million. The combined ratio in property and casualty insurance improved after reinsurance at Group level to 97.8 per cent (2014: 99.6 per cent).
Total consolidated operating expenses (see Note 34 in the consolidated financial statements) less reinsurance commission and share of profit from reinsurance ceded (see Note 34 in the consolidated financial statements) remained at the same level in the 2015 financial year as the previous year at € 1,298.7 million (2014: € 1,299.1 million). Expenses for the acquisition of insurance less reinsurance commission and share of profit from reinsurance ceded in the amount of € 24.8 million (2014: € 26.0 million) increased by 1.4 per cent to € 925.6 million (2014: € 912.5 million). Other operating expenses fell by 3.5 per cent to € 373.1 million (2014: € 386.6 million). This was mainly attributable to adjustments in the works agreements for pension fund provision which had a positive effect amounting to € 50.6 million.
UNIQA’s cost ratio after reinsurance, i.e. the relation of total operating expenses less the amounts received from reinsurance commission and share of profit from reinsurance ceded to the Group premiums earned including savings portions from the unit-linked and index-linked life insurance, dropped to 21.3 per cent during the past year (2014: 22.2 per cent) as a result of the developments mentioned above. The cost ratio before reinsurance was 21.0 per cent (2014: 21.8 per cent).
Total investments including investment property, shares in associates and investments of the unit-linked and index-linked life insurance and current cash held at banks and cash-in-hand rose in the 2015 financial year by € 391.1 million to € 29,416.1 million (31 December 2014: € 29,024.9 million).
Net investment income fell by 6.4 per cent to € 831.1 million (2014: € 888.2 million) as a result of the low interest rates. Among other things, the gains from the disposal of property had a positive effect on net investment income in the 2015 financial year. Additional drivers of performance included the restructuring of strategic asset allocation for economic optimisation of capital and positive currency effects from investments in US dollars. Due to the balancing of the 13.8 per cent holding in STRABAG SE according to the equity method, there was a positive contribution in the amount of € 23.7 million in 2015. A detailed description of the investment income can be found in the consolidated financial statements (see Note 35).
Other income and other expenses
Other income fell in 2015 by 31.9 per cent to € 42.5 million (2014: € 62.4 million) mainly due to differences in the exchange rate of the Ukrainian hryvnia. Other expenses also fell in the reporting period due to exchange rate differences of the Russian rouble and Ukrainian hryvnia and amounted to € 61.0 million (2014: € 70.3 million).
Earnings before taxes
The technical result of the UNIQA Group rose significantly in 2015 by 56.5 per cent to € 199.9 million (2014: € 127.7 million). Operating profit increased to € 494.1 million (2014: € 447.6 million). UNIQA’s earnings before taxes were very satisfactory, above all due to the welcome trend in the operative segments UNIQA Austria and UNIQA International, rising by 11.9 per cent to € 422.8 million (2014: € 377.9 million). Profit/(loss) for the year rose by 14.2 per cent to € 334.6 million (2014: € 292.9 million). The consolidated profit/(loss), i.e. the proportion of the net profit for the year attributable to the shareholders of UNIQA Insurance Group AG, amounted to € 331.1 million (2014: € 289.9 million). The earnings per share rose as a result to € 1.07 (2014: € 0.94). The return on equity after tax and non-controlling interests in the reporting period was 10.6 per cent (2014: 9.9 per cent).
On this basis therefore the Management Board will propose a dividend of 47 cents per share to the Supervisory Board and the Annual General Meeting (2014: 42 cents per share).
Own funds and total assets
The UNIQA Group’s equity rose in the past financial year by 2.3 per cent or € 70.5 million to € 3,152.7 million due to the net consolidated profit (31 December 2014: € 3,082.2 million). The minority interests came to € 22.1 million (31 December 2014: € 20.2 million). The solvency ratio (Solvency I) increased accordingly to 301.7 per cent (31 December 2014: 295.4 per cent). The total assets of the Group remained almost unchanged in the reporting period, and amounted to € 33,078.4 million as at 31 December 2015 (31 December 2014: € 33,038.2 million).
UNIQA’s cash flows from operating activities amounted to € 49.5 million in 2015 (2014: € 1,558.5 million). The cash flow from investing activities amounted to –€ 499.9 million (2014: –€ 1,088.2 million). As a consequence of the issue of the subordinated capital bond (Tier 2), net cash from financing activities rose to € 365.1 million (2014: –€ 111.2 million).
In total, liquid funds changed by –€ 85.3 million (2014: € 359.1 million). Financial resources available as at the end of 2015 amounted to € 890.1 million (2014: € 975.8 million).
In 2015, the average number of employees at UNIQA fell to 14,113 (2014: 14,336). These included 5,427 (2014: 5,821) field sales employees. The number of employees in administration amounted to 8,686 (2014: 8,515).
In the 2015 financial year, the Group had 2,591 employees in the Central Europe region (CE) – Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary (2014: 2,806 employees), 2,561 employees (2014: 2,412) in the Southeastern Europe region (SEE) – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – and 2,068 employees (2014: 2,328) in the Eastern Europe region (EE) of Romania and Ukraine. There were 96 employees (2014: 103) in Russia. The average number of employees in the Western European markets rose slightly to 369 (2014: 360). A total of 6,428 people were employed in Austria (2014: 6,327). Including the employees of the general agencies working exclusively for UNIQA, the total number of people working for the Group amounts to 21,227.
In 2015, 51 per cent of the staff working in administrative positions at UNIQA Insurance Group AG in Austria were women (2014: 51 per cent). In sales, the ratio was 82 per cent men to 18 per cent women. Twenty-one per cent (2014: 21 per cent) of the employees in administration were working part time. The average age in the past year was 44 years (2014: 43 years). In 2015, a total of 14.8 per cent (2014: 15.3 per cent) of the employees participated in UNIQA’s bonus system – a variable remuneration system that is tied both to the success of the Company and to personal performance. In addition, UNIQA offers young people in training the opportunity to get to know foreign cultures and make international contacts. Currently, 29 apprentices are being trained. Thirteen new apprentices were accepted in 2015.