Ready for new challenges
Since we devised the Group strategy UNIQA 2.0 in 2011, a great deal has been going on at UNIQA – from doubling our customer numbers and significantly strengthening our capital base through to improving our earnings power in the insurance business and launching a wealth of product innovation, customer service and digitalisation initiatives. The latest highlight has been the recent acquisition of AXA’s subsidiaries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, bringing in a total of five million customers. Looking at how all these developments have turned out, we feel well equipped for UNIQA 3.0 writing the next chapter in our Group during a time of major challenges.
UNIQA 2.0 – Phases 1 and 2 (2011–2015)
Our customers were at the heart of the transformaton that started in 2011 right from day one. This was also the reason why the only objective for 2020 that we set back in 2011 was a doubling of our customer numbers. Other, primarily financial targets were then added in the first two phases of UNIQA 2.0 leading up to 2015 (you can find an overview of these in chapter Objectives): amongst other things, we set out to focus on our core business as a direct insurer in Austria and CEE, make this core business more profitable and improve our risk/return profile. To improve the company’s capitalisation, we also began making preparations for an IPO as early as 2011. Ultimately, this transformation was intended to increase our earnings before taxes by up to €400 million compared to 2011 levels.
UNIQA 2.0 – Phase 3 (2016–2020)
In the third phase of UNIQA 2.0 from 2016 onwards, we launched UNIQA’s largest innovation and investment programme to date in response to customer requirements that were evolving ever more rapidly and the unstoppable onward march of digitalisation. The ten-year, €500 million programme pursues several objectives: redesigning our business model, building up the necessary expertise amongst our staff and investing in the IT systems that will be required. Underpinned by these extensive investments, UNIQA is transforming from a supplier of insurance products into an integrated service provider. As a framework, or symbol, for our ongoing strategic initiatives, we also created the “UNIQA House” in 2016, which provides a clear visual representation of all the starting points and measures forming part of phase 3 (see Phase 3: the strategic initiatives in detail).
Tackling the future with renewed strength
Many of the plans we set in motion in 2011 and subsequent years bore fruit, some did not. What is particularly pleasing is the fact that we have achieved our objective of doubling our customer numbers over the past decade, despite exiting the German and Italian markets and thus focusing exclusively on our core markets of Austria and CEE. The critical final step in this process is the acquisition of AXA’s companies in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which is currently under way. It means that, by the end of 2020, we will be helping just over 15 million customers to live safer, better and longer lives.
In addition, we have made our core business much more profitable, allowing us to cushion the impact of persistently low interest rates. We have also moved decisively to launch some large-scale projects and brought in changes to many processes. At the same time, we have put ourselves in a strong capital position, particularly through our re-IPO in October 2013. With all of these measures, we have made ourselves strong and independent – and are now ready to shape our own future.