The strongest growth for the first quarter of 2008 was also registered by UNIQA group companies in eastern and south-eastern Europe – premiums written rose by 53.2% to € 288 million (1-3/2007: € 188 million), making a contribution to group premiums of 17.6% (1-3/2007: 13.0%). As a result, the business share from eastern European companies has exceeded that of group companies in western Europe, although a significant increase in premiums was also achieved there of 19.1% to € 281 million (1-3/2007: € 236 million).
The overall share of international business in the first quarter of 2008 was 34.8% (1-3/2007: 29.4%). Premium volumes in the core market of Austria also increased significantly by 4.7% to € 1,064 million (1-3/2007:€ 1,016 million).
The life insurance class achieved the strongest growth with 29.9% to € 623 million (1-3/2007: € 479 million). In property and casualty insurance, the UNIQA Group increased premium volumes in the first three months of the current year by 6.0% to € 764 million (1-3/2007: € 721 million). Premiums
written in health insurance increased in the reporting period 2008 by 2.6% to € 245 million (1-3/2007: € 239 million).
At the same time, it was possible to keep cost increases significantly below those of the premiums and, as a result, to reduce the cost ratio to 20.8% (1-3/2007: 22-6%). After insurance proceeds decreased by 0.5% to € 891 million (1-3/2007: € 896 million), the claims and proceeds ratio also went down in all segments – the (net) combined ratio was 90.1%, significantly lower than the previous year (1-3/2007: 98.8%) due to positive developments in costs and claims. Despite the effects of storms Paula and Emma, property and casualty insurance significantly improved the
overall technical result with a claims ratio of 59.5% (1-3/2007: 65.6%). The technical result (before investment income) increased in property and casualty insurance to € 61 million (1-3/2007: € 6 million). In health insurance, the technical result rose by € 14 million to € -8 million (1-3/2007: € 22 million).
The UNIQA Group’s investment portfolio as at 31 March 2008 was up € 41 million to a total of € 21,647 million (31/3/2007: € 21,606 million) compared to the same time in 2007. Net investment income decreased, in particular, due to lower stock market gains and higher impairments on
shares as a result of the weak state of the stock markets in the first quarter and the negative effects of the spread extension to include fixed-interest securities in the first three months of 2008, by 66.2% to € 79 million (1-3/2007: € 233 million).
Despite the excellent result in core insurance business, the result (before tax) decreased by 33.2% to € 42 million as a result of reduced income from capital investments (1-3/2007: € 63 million).
Irrespective of the negative effects of the volatile capital markets on the first quarter result for 2008, UNIQA stands by its medium-term forecast result of € 430 million for 2010. However, the uncertainty and volatility that is currently prevailing on the capital markets makes a reliable short-term forecast of results impossible at this time.
Group Embedded Value for 2007 up by 15.7% Group Embedded Value (GEV) at the UNIQA Group increased in 2007 by 15.7% to € 2,517.6 million (2006: € 2,175.4 million). Before the deduction of
minorities, the embedded value for 2007 was € 3,078.6 million, which was 13.5% more than the figure in the previous year (2006: € 2,712.8 million).
Consequently, the UNIQA Group has successfully increased Group Embedded Value in the past two year by around 34%. Taking into account dividend payments, return on Group Embedded Value for 2007 generated a respectable 17.7% (2006: 17.3%). This high increase was largely driven by the Group’s positive results and a higher value in-force business (VIF) in the life and health insurance due to higher interest, the higher market value of the STRABAG SE holding and positive effects from profitable new life and health insurance business in Austria and abroad.