Utrecht,
18
February
2016
|
06:56
Europe/Amsterdam

Strong result for a.s.r. in 2015

Summary

a.s.r. reports again good results. The operating result rose to € 521 million in 2015 (+25%). The Solvency II ratio (based on the standard formula) is robust (midpoint estimate of 185% after proposed dividends). At 95.0%, the combined ratio in the Non-life segment continued to be strong. Acquisitions further improved a.s.r.’s strategic market position in 2015. a.s.r. intends to distribute € 170 million in dividend to its shareholder for 2015; this represents a 22% increase.

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Focus on the customer

  • a.s.r. achieved the highest score for its personal injury claims handling.
  • To help customers answer their financial life questions, a.s.r. has introduced a new website, websitevanjeleven.nl.
  • a.s.r. is ready to launch Het nederlandse pensioenfonds, a general pension fund, which is a contemporary form of pension provision.
  • From now on, De Amersfoortse customers can opt for the Doorgaanverzekering policy, allowing them to combine health insurance with occupational disability insurance.
  • Ditzo received the Customer Centric DNA Award for the third time, reflecting its focus on the customer.
  • Leveraging its Ditzo and De Amersfoortse labels, a.s.r. continued to strengthen its position in the health insurance market, with about 22,000 new customers, in the beginning of 2016.
  • a.s.r is now also making its expertise as an asset manager available to third parties, strengthened by the acquisition of BNG Vermogensbeheer.
  • The ‘Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer’ (Fair Insurance Guide) awarded a.s.r. the highest score in the market for its sustainable investment policy in 2015.

Operating result up 25% to € 521 million (2014: € 417 million); sharp rise in net result to € 601 million (2014: € 423 million)

  • The operating result (before tax), an indicator of the underlying financial performance, was up 25%, rising to € 521 million. The operating return on equity climbed from 11.7% to 13.9%. The operating result increased in both the Non-life segment and the Life segment, as well as in the non-insurance business.
  • The net result was up 42%, reaching € 601 million, due to the higher operating result, a one-off increase of the equity investment income and an increase in the value of the property portfolio.
  • The operating expenses amounted to € 575 million, representing a 10% rise on 2014 (€ 524 million). The increase was mainly due to the expansion of activities in the distribution channel (acquisitions of Van Kampen Groep and Dutch ID), the acquisitions of pension insurer De Eendragt and funeral insurer AXENT, and incidentals expenses.
  • At 95.0%, the combined ratio was in line with 2014 (94.8%).

Premium income up 8% to € 4,092 million: stable in Non-life segment and increase in Life segment

  • In the Non-life segment, premium income was virtually stable at € 2,350 million (2014: € 2,359 million).
  • In the Life segment, premium income rose to € 1,828 million (2014: € 1,543 million), due in particular to a buy-out of a pension fund and the strategic acquisitions of De Eendragt and AXENT.

Robust solvency position; Solvency II ratio midpoint estimate at 185% after dividend (31 December 2014: approx. 170%)

  • The Solvency II ratio stood at midpoint estimate 185% as per 31 December 2015 after distribution of the proposed dividend of € 170 million, based on the standard formula (year-end 2014: approx. 170%). Before dividend, a.s.r.’s midpoint estimate of Solvency II amounted to 190%. a.s.r. applies a bandwidth of +10%-points and -10%-points around this midpoint estimate reflecting both potential positive and negative factors of which the final impact still needs to be determined, referring to the interpretation of the delegated acts.
  • The DNB Solvency I ratio continued to rise to 305% (year-end 2014: 285%).
  • The double leverage ratio has improved to 102% (year-end 2014: 121%).

Jos Baeten, CEO of a.s.r.: ‘I am proud to report that a.s.r. has had another good year. The net result rose by € 178 million to € 601 million, two of the main reasons being a € 104 million increase in the operating result to € 521 million and higher investment income. Our balance sheet is exceptionally strong and our solvency ratio is robust and better than average.

The Non-life segment did well in 2015. The operating result in this segment was up € 14 million, rising to € 169 million. At 95.0%, the combined ratio was in line with 2014 (94.8%). In the occupational disability business, the combined ratio improved due to our active claims management in both the individual and group occupational disability businesses. In the P&C business, the combined ratio also remained well below 100%, despite the damage caused by summer storms. This is a reflection of our underwriting expertise.

In the Life segment operating result was up by € 85 million, climbing to € 434 million. In the pension business, a.s.r. has clearly opted for value over volume, as a result of which a number of wholesale contracts were not renewed. Gross written premiums for 2015 were down 10% in the individual life business, which was in line with the market. In the funeral insurance business, a.s.r.’s gross written premiums rose by € 20 million. This was due in particular to the acquisition of AXENT in 2015. Measured by number of customers, a.s.r. leads the funeral insurance market.

Our products and services were also rated highly by our customers in 2015. The increase in the number of Vernieuwde Voordeelpakket policies sold by a.s.r. P&C business continued into the second half of 2015. De Amersfoortse’s Werknemers Pensioen was also welcomed by the market in 2015.

a.s.r. strengthened its position in 2015 by acquiring pension insurer De Eendragt, funeral insurer AXENT, as well as two intermediary distribution service providers, Van Kampen Groep and Dutch ID. Late in 2015, a.s.r. reached agreement on the transfer of NIVO’s funeral insurance portfolio to a.s.r.

We announced the acquisition of BNG Vermogensbeheer, an asset manager, early in 2016. With this acquisition, a.s.r. seeks to strengthen its position as a fiduciary asset manager. We recently sold emergency assistance provider SOS International, due to our focus on core activities.

All things considered, we believe that our strategy to be socially relevant, robust, customer-oriented, and cost-efficient. It has served us well in 2015. We are seeing that customers are more satisfied with our services by awarding us a better NPS score and that intermediaries tend to recommend a.s.r. more often. This is confirmed by Adfiz, the sector association of independent financial advisers, which – in its annual performance survey – nominated a.s.r. label De Amersfoortse twice, in the categories ‘commercial income’ and ‘commercial pension’. Our people are extremely motivated to offer our customers and advisers service excellence. I am proud of their expertise and the enthusiasm and commitment they display on a daily basis.’

a.s.r. key figures (in € million)

2015

2014

restated

Operating result

521

417

Net result

601

423

Operating return on equity

13.9%

11,7%

Return on equity

17.2%

11.0%

Gross written premiums

4,092

3,787

Operating expenses

575

524

Of which associated with ordinary activities

538

485

Extraordinary expense

37

39

Combined ratio, Non-life

95.0%

94.8%

New business, Life (APE)

92

140

 

 

31 December 2015

31 December 2014

Total equity

4,259

3,709

Total equity attributable to shareholders

3,573

3,028

Solvency II ratio (standard formula) – after dividend midpoint est.

c. 185%

c. 170%

Solvency II ratio (standard formula) – before dividend midpoint est.

c. 190%

c. 175%

DNB Solvency I ratio

305%

285%

Number of FTEs (internal)

3,650

3,514

Notes

  • The operating result represents profit or loss before tax adjusted for (i) investment income of an incidental nature (including realized capital gains, impairment losses and realized and unrealized changes in value) and (ii) incidental items not relating to ordinary activities, e.g. as a result of accounting changes, consulting fees for acquisitions, restructuring expenses, start-up costs and shareholder-related expenses.
  • a.s.r. has implemented a change in accounting policies. Investment property and owner-occupied property are stated at fair value with effect from 1 January 2015. Policy acquisition costs are recognized directly through profit or loss. The operations of SOS International and parts of the real estate development business were classified as ‘discontinued operations’ in 2015. To allow comparison with the financial results for 2014, the figures for 2014 have been restated to reflect the change in accounting policies.
  • The Solvency II figures are based on the standard formula, the application of which will be further developed in some respects.
  • The Solvency II ratio midpoint estimate as per 31 December 2015 is 185% after distribution of the proposed dividends for 2015.
  • Excluding the acquisitions in 2015 (Van Kampen Groep, De Eendragt, AXENT and Dutch ID), the number of FTE decreased by 6% to 3,306 FTEs.

Dividend proposal

The Executive Board plans to distribute € 170 million in dividend on ordinary shares, a 22% increase compared to 2014.

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Contact
photo:Daan  Wentholt
Daan Wentholt
Press Officer
+31 (0)6 53 35 41 56
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