A successful financial year despite a difficult market environment
FIRST FINANCIAL YEAR FOLLOWING SALE OF SLOVAKIA BRANCH
Vienna – Overall, 2015 was a very challenging year for the tourism industry and particularly marked by turbulent and at times tragic events. Together with the loss of premium revenues resulting from sale of the Slovakia branch, this led to a fall in premium income.
At EUR 62.65 million, premium revenues were 5% below their record level of 2014.The result from ordinary activities totalled EUR 4.43 million, and the annual surplus amounted to EUR 5.77 million. Due to the extraordinary income arising from sale of the Slovakian business, in total, net profit was reported in the sum of EUR 6.31 million.
As a result of a positive year for tourism in Austria – across Austria, last year overnight stays grew by 2.5% to 135.2 million and arrivals increased at a level of 4.9% to 39.4 million visitors – the incoming segment (hotel business) performed extremely positively. In the business travel segment, respectable growth was achieved through the recruitment of new clients, despite this segment continuing to suffer from the weak European economy.
The trend towards online travel bookings also led to an increase in the number of policies concluded directly with Europäische. In addition, annual travel insurance policies are becoming ever more popular.
Although the difficult market environment in 2015 led to weak demand for travel, Europäische experienced only a slight fall in premiums. Wolfgang Lackner, Chairman of the Management Board at Europäische Reiseversicherung AG, attributes this in part to the greater need for security: „The terror attacks in Tunisia, Egypt and France as well as the wars in the Middle East and the related wave of refugees has put a damper on the inclination to travel among Austrians. However, at the same time, such events are also increasing risk awareness and the tendency to protect oneself accordingly by taking out travel insurance.“
INCREASE IN CLAIMS AND HIGHER AMOUNTS OF LOSS
The total amount of expenditure for insurance claims, at EUR 32.65 million, was 4.6% higher than in 2014, which is in particular in part due to higher expenditure as a result of major insured events. The gross loss ratio (ratio of expenses to premium revenues) grew from 48.5% to 52.5%.
A SOLID RESULT AND FURTHER STRENGTHENING OF EQUITY
Administrative, underwriting and policy acquisition costs (including commissions) fell by 5.6%; in addition to rigorous cost management, this also results from sale of the former Slovakian branch. In terms of costs, the cost and commission ratio continued to fall from 42.9% in 2014 to 41.9%.
In total, the actuarial result, at EUR 2.32 million, was at the same level as the previous year. As a result of falling interest rates and lower realised income, the financial results (maintaining the strict principle of the lower of cost or market) totalled EUR 2.11 million, substantially below the previous year‘s figure of EUR 3.10 million. In total, the company achieved a result from ordinary activities totalling EUR 4.43 million, while the annual surplus totalled EUR 5.77 million as a result of extraordinary income from sale of the Slovakian branch; this constituted a record result. Including a profit carryforward from the previous year totalling EUR 4.49 million, total net profit grew by 29.8% to EUR 6.31 million. The company‘s own funds were significantly reinforced and grew to EUR 26.23 million.
SUBSIDIARIES MAKING GAINS
Europäische’s subsidiaries also achieved positive results; brokerage firm Care Consult focuses on special event and tourism policies and the TTC (Travel Training Center) is successful as a leading further training institution for the tourism sector, with its wide-ranging seminar programme.
FOREIGN COMMITMENTS: FOCUS ON SLOVENIA AND SOUTH TIROL
In Slovenia, Europäische Reiseversicherung operates in collaboration with the local Generali company, and has also been engaged in direct business since 2010. As in Austria, 2015 was characterized by difficult market conditions in the realm of outgoing business.
In South Tirol, despite difficult economic framework conditions, strong growth was achieved.
In Hungary and the Czech Republic too, where Europäische has a participating interest in leading travel insurance specialists, very positive results were achieved which offer the prospect of stable future performance.
A CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT IN 2016 AND OPITIMISM OVER MEDIUM-TERM PERFORMANCE
Management Board Chairman Wolfgang Lackner: “The difficult situation in the important outgoing market is continuing into 2016. We hope that the tense situation will ease and that business will pick up. In our other business divisions, we aim to drive forward our positive performance and thereby achieve our targets. We will succeed in doing so firstly by placing the requirements of customers and distribution partners at the forefront of our efforts and servicing them as well as possible. Secondly, we are also continuing the further development of our internal processes and optimisation of operational procedures. Overall, 2016 remains challenging, but I am convinced that this year too, we will be able to achieve a solid result and that overall, the tourist industry will regain dynamic over the medium term.”
This text consists of non-binding basic information for media agencies; information regarding business performance as well as products and services is abbreviated/presented in simplified form. Details concerning business performance are contained in the relevant Annual Report.
EUROPÄISCHE REISEVERSICHERUNG AG
With a market share of over 60%, Europäische Reiseversicherung is the largest Austrian travel insurer. Over 2.15 million travellers rely on Europäische’s product range, which extends from insurance policies for holidays in Austria and abroad, to annual travel policies and insurance packages for business and business trips. Europäische Reiseversicherung is a company of the Generali Group, one of the leading global insurance groups with a premium volume of EUR 60 billion in 2014. With 78,000 employees worldwide and 65 million customers in over 60 countries, Generali has a leading position on the Western-European markets and is also gaining importance in central and eastern Europe as well as in Asia.