In the first six months of 2010, the UNIQA Group Austria has managed to drive growth forward significantly in all segments, despite difficult market conditions, the company said.
"According to the preliminary data, we increased our premium income by EUR 271 million, or 9%, in the first half of the year", UNIQA CEO Konstantin Klien said. "This means that, in most of our 21 markets, we are significantly above market developments and forecasts. This also applies to our home market of Austria."
According to the preliminary unconsolidated data, on the basis of local accounting standards, in the first half of 2010 the UNIQA Group companies were able to increase earned premiums (including the savings portion of premiums from unit- and index-linked life insurance) by 9.3% to EUR 3,187 million.
The strongest growth impulses, however, came from international business. In the home market of Austria, the preliminary premiums from UNIQA Personenversicherung, UNIQA Sachversicherung, Raiffeisen Versicherung, FinanceLife, Salzburger Landes-Versicherung and CALL DIRECT grew, at around 1.7%, twice as fast as the 2010 forecast for the entire Austrian insurance market (0.8%).
Outside of Austria, the UNIQA Group companies were able to grow their preliminary premiums by almost a quarter (23.8%).
The UNIQA Group's largest premium increases came from life insurance, by 16% to EUR 1,303 million. The Western European region (especially Italy) had particularly strong growth. In Eastern and South Eastern Europe, however, the UNIQA Group again achieved double-digit growth this year, after currency- and financial-market-related drops in the previous year. In Austria, UNIQA is clearly above the market forecast of +0.3% for premium growth, and life insurance as well.
In health insurance, the UNIQA Group also managed to successfully establish the Austrian market leader's expertise in other markets. Premiums in this segment climbed by 5.3% to EUR 496 million. International business also delivered above-average growth, especially in the Eastern and South Eastern European markets.
Within the UNIQA Group in the first six months, preliminary premiums from property and casualty insurance rose by 5.0% to around EUR 1,388 million. With double-digit growth rates, this segment's growth dynamic also resulted to a great extent from the Eastern and South Eastern European region, although UNIQA was also able to significantly increase growth in Austria and Western Europe in property and casualty insurance.
In the first half of the year, the development of claims due to natural disasters - especially international storm and flood events - in Poland, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, was significantly impacted, while this development actually improved in Austria over the previous year.
Throughout the Group, the growth in costs according to the preliminary data in the first half of the year remained below premium increases, which resulted in a lower cost ratio.
Due to the positive trend in operative business, and the stable trend in investment results despite the euro crisis, a significant increase in results for ordinary activities can be expected in the first half of 2010 in comparison to the comparable period of the previous year.
UNIQA will publish the consolidated IFRS data for the first half of 2010 on August 26.