UNIQA 3.0 strategic programme: the final sprint

Presented at the end of 2020, our “UNIQA 3.0 – Seeding the Future” strategic programme is already entering its final sprint this year.

By putting the many different initiatives and measures envisaged by the programme into practice, our aim is to sustainably increase our relevance in people’s lives and thus to realise our motto of “Living better together”. Because if we want to be more than just an insurance company, we have to continuously improve ourselves and also break new and potentially unfamiliar ground.

As in 2021 and 2022, we again made considerable progress in implementing UNIQA 3.0 in 2023 and are confident that we will actually meet the targets we have set ourselves by the end of 2024. We are now working intensively on our new strategic programme, which will be launched in 2025. As a further development of UNIQA 3.0, it will focus in particular on the topic of execution excellence. We are currently in the analysis and design phase, with the new programme due to be finalised at the end of 2024.

“Living better together”: protecting and improving health and prosperity

The “UNIQA 3.0 - Seeding the Future” programme is our response to the many challenges facing society, the economy and people today. Our overriding vision with this programme is to give our customers security in this environment and to protect and improve their health and prosperity: UNIQA aims to be the leading service provider for a better life. To achieve this, we focus on maximum customer orientation by consistently aligning ourselves with the needs of our customers and further developing business segments that enable us to have more positive points of contact with them.

Clear values and ambitious objectives

At the same time, we are increasingly focusing on responsibility, sustainability and clear values in all our activities. In our relationship with our customers, but also in the company itself, we want to be inspiring coaches and are guided in our actions by five clear principles: customer first, simplicity, responsibility, integrity and community.

To implement our vision, we have formulated six goals: maintaining our market leadership in Austria, advancing to the top 5 in CEE (a feat we have already achieved by successfully integrating the former AXA subsidiaries in Poland, Slovakia and Czechia, which were acquired in 2020), positioning ourselves as the top service provider (which, with 4.5 out of 5 stars, we have also already achieved) and the most attractive employer in the industry, ensuring cost efficiency and profitability, and developing new business segments.

Our focus here is on two main storylines: optimising and expanding our core business, on the one hand, and exploring innovative business segments, developing digital business models and establishing an ecosystem in the health sector, on the other.

Our two core geographic markets remain Austria and CEE; here, the focus will be on Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary. Since 2021, we have been managing our customers in these markets according to the customer segments Retail, Corporate and Affinity, and Banking instead of the previous business line structure (property/casualty, health and life). This enables us to address customers in a much more focused manner and should, in addition to further increasing efficiency as well as customer satisfaction and loyalty, also lead to a growth in premiums.

Our 3.0 programme

Our 3.0 programme (Graphic)

Our strategic goals up to 2025

Our strategic goals up to 2025 (Graphic)

The targets set for the 2024 horizon under UNIQA 3.0 in relation to our most important KPIs are very specific and ambitious: they concern premium growth (> 4 per cent), the total cost ratio (< 32.5 per cent), the combined ratio in property and casualty insurance (< 92 per cent), the return on equity (> 14 per cent), the solvency ratio (> 170 per cent) and customer satisfaction (≥ 4.5 stars out of 5). This should enable us to earn our cost of capital on a sustainable basis, pay attractive dividends and invest in the future – favourable both for our company’s employees and customers as well as for its shareholders. We made further measurable progress in virtually all of these areas in 2023. With the transition to the new accounting standards IFRS 17 and IFRS 9 from 1 January 2023, we have also adjusted our profit goals in the calculation accordingly.

UNIQA 3.0 financial initiatives

UNIQA 3.0 financial initiatives (Graphic)
1) All key figures under IFRS 4/IAS 39 are calculated using net premiums earned. 2) All key figures under IFRS 17/9 are calculated using insurance revenue and are before deduction of reinsurance. 3) This calculation does not take into account the effect of the planned sale of the Russian company (profit/(loss) from discontinued operations (after tax). 4) € per share

Sustainability and ESG as central concerns

A core element of our UNIQA 3.0 strategic programme is our commitment to sustainable company management. Our goal is to make UNIQA climate neutral by 2040. We are committed to the Paris climate target of 1.5 degrees Celsius and are a member of important international associations and initiatives, including the UN Principles for Responsible Investments (PRI) and the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance.

Five cornerstones form the foundation of our sustainability strategy:

  • Investment policy based on ESG criteria
  • ESG-oriented product policy
  • Exemplary sustainable business management
  • Transparent reporting and independent ratings
  • Engaging stakeholder management

We are not yet where we want to be on all these issues, but we are working hard to get there. The top priority here is to integrate the concept of sustainability into our core business. For example, we completed the phase-out of coal in our underwriting back in 2019, the phase-out of oil is planned by 2030 and the phase-out of gas by 2035.

2023: once again good progress with implementation

Immediately after the presentation of UNIQA 3.0 at the close of 2020, the implementation of diverse programme measures began. Back in 2021 and 2022, we made very good progress in all core initiatives. In 2023, we continued on this course with unabated energy and once again achieved numerous successes.

The operational integration and rebranding of the companies acquired in 2020 by AXA in Poland, Slovakia and Czechia was already completed in 2021. We have thus achieved our goal of moving into the top 5 in CEE ahead of schedule and are now working intensively to maintain and secure this position for the long term. This is facilitated not least by the development of long-term synergies and the strategic transformation of the acquired companies to align with UNIQA 3.0. The main emphasis here is on the business model, digitalisation and automation, along with the corporate culture.

In addition, a broad-based efficiency improvement programme was immediately initiated and largely implemented in Austria under the title “Fit for the Future”. In addition to optimising our network of locations and merging important functions for the Retail and Corporate customer groups, the programme aimed in particular to streamline and modularise our product landscape. This has brought us significantly closer to achieving our goal of reducing the overall cost ratio in the Group to 25 per cent by 2025.

Our initiatives for our customers also played and continue to play an important role. While we are focusing primarily on an excellent customer journey and simple products in the Retail area, the focus in the Banking area is on further market expansion and accelerated digitalisation. Innovative services and sales channels are the focus of the Corporate segment, where we concentrate on corporate customers, affinity programmes and employee benefits. Our full membership of EURAPCO (a strategic alliance of eight leading European insurance companies) which begins in 2024 will provide important impetus in terms of Europe-wide best practices.

We are also continuously implementing a wide range of individual measures to increase our attractiveness for existing and potential employees and also made fundamental structural changes to our HR management in the past year. In addition to the increasingly attractive design of the employee experience and the Group-wide roll-out of our new company culture for Inspiring Coaches, we are also focussing on targeted employer branding.

At the same time, we are working hard internally to further improve our processes and to further develop our IT systems and data. Digitalisation, automation, increasing efficiency and reducing our environmental footprint are also important focal points here.

Finally, the strategic development of new business segments, in which we are concentrating primarily on the healthcare sector, is also highly dynamic. Together with Mavie Holding (founded in 2022), which bundles all activities in this business line that go beyond the traditional insurance business, we want to develop into a holistic healthcare provider. Important progress was made here again in 2023.

Return on equity (ROE)
The return on equity is the ratio of the profit/(loss) to the average equity, after deducting non-controlling interests in each case.
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