Unaudited financial results of the Sava Re Group and Sava Re d.d. for 2018
Pursuant to the rules of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange d.d., Ljubljana, and the Market in Financial Instruments Act, Sava Re d.d., Dunajska 56, Ljubljana makes the following announcement:
- The Sava Re Group generated a profit of EUR 43 million in 2018, up 38.3% year on year.
- Return on equity rose to 13.1%.
- Group operating revenues grew by 10%.
- The successful completion of three acquisitions in 2018 will drive the Group’s future growth. Further three deals were signed, with the closing for the two Croatian ERGO companies completed in February 2019 and the KMB Infond closing expected in 2019.
- Both credit ratings were raised to “A” with a stable outlook.
In 2018 the Sava Re Group wrote EUR 546.3 million in gross premiums, an increase of 5.6% over 2017. Thereby we exceeded the lower end of the range of planned gross premiums written of EUR 520 million by 5.1%. This growth was contributed by Slovenian non-life insurance business (10.9% growth), non-Slovenian non-life insurance business (12.5% growth) and non-Slovenian life insurance business (17.8% growth). The reinsurance segment wrote 7.2% less in premiums than in 2018 as a result of strict underwriting discipline and selective underwriting. As anticipated, there was a drop of 2.9% in gross life insurance premiums written owing to a large number of policy maturities.
The Group’s operating revenues grew by 9.8% in 2018, the result of growth in premiums of the existing Group companies as well as the operations of new Group companies that joined the Group in 2018. Three companies were successfully acquired in the first quarter of the year: the pension company NLB Nov Penziski Fond based in North Macedonia and subsequently renamed Sava Penzisko Društvo; the Serbia-based insurer Energoprojekt Garant, which was merged with the Group’s Serbian non-life insurer at the year end; and the Slovenia-based assistance service provider TBS Team 24. The smooth integration of these companies has already contributed to better profitability.
The year 2018 saw a relatively low incidence of large claims for our insurance and reinsurance business, as reflected in the more favourable incurred loss and combined ratios, as well as in the Group’s improved performance. Profitability was also supported by the synergies flowing from the merger of four insurers now under the unified brand of Zavarovalnica Sava and the better performance of the Group’s non-EU-based members, where markets have grown faster in recent years than mature markets. This benefits the Group’s growth in income and overall business performance.
The expense ratio increased marginally in 2018 partly due to the drop in gross reinsurance premiums as well as in gross life insurance premiums, with the latter owing to the large number of policy maturities. Additionally, larger new writings of life policies pushed up acquisition costs while other operating expenses remained at about the same level. Higher reinsurance commission expenses also had a negative effect on the expense ratio. However, this reflects our shift towards more profitable business with higher commission rates, especially in the current soft reinsurance market. The fact that we are writing more profitable reinsurance business despite the higher commission rates can be seen from the better combined ratio.
The Sava Re Group closed 2018 with a net profit of EUR 43 million, delivering a 13.1% return on equity. In 2018 the Group’s equity grew by 7.6% to EUR 340.2 million as at 31 December 2018. The Group’s net technical provisions stood at EUR 1.1 billion as at 31 December 2018.
Aware of the changes in our environment and their effect on our business, we will place special emphasis on investment opportunities in environmental and sustainability-oriented projects by investing in infrastructure funds and projects of local companies exploring energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Investments in infrastructure funds and projects increased in 2018, accounting for 0.5% of the total portfolio at the year end. The return on the investment portfolio of 1.7% was consistent with the 2018 plan. The Group’s investment portfolio remains conservative, with a high proportion of bonds and investment-grade assets.
Following their regular annual rating reviews in 2018, the rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and AM Best both raised their financial strength ratings for Sava Re to “A”, which reflects the Group’s strong capital position over a longer period, its improved market position and profitability achieved as a result of its expansion through organic growth and acquisitions. Standard & Poor’s also gave a favourable assessment of the completed acquisitions in the markets where the Group already has operations. This expansion further bolstered the Group’s market position. We believe that the improved credit ratings will support our strategy of selective and profitable growth in international reinsurance markets.
In 2018, our development activities were focused on expanding the Group. Having finalised the acquisitions of three companies in the first quarter, we signed a deal to acquire a majority stake in KBM Infond, an asset management company, in December 2018, to complete the Group’s range of financial services under our strategy for the Slovenian market.
We attach the unaudited financial results of the Sava Re Group and Sava Re d.d. for 2018 and a presentation of results prepared for today’s press conference. We will be releasing the audited consolidated annual report on 4 April 2019, in accordance with the Company’s financial calendar.
This announcement will also be available on the Company’s website, at www.sava-re.si, at least five years from the date of this announcement.
- Press conference presentation [.pdf, 933 kB]
- Unaudited financial statements of the Sava Re Group and Sava Re d.d for 2018 [.pdf, 695 kB]