Utrecht,
29
August
2018
|
06:51
Europe/Amsterdam

a.s.r. reports continued strong performance

Operating result of € 382 million, in line with strong first half year 2017

  • Operating result of € 382 million was almost equal to last year (H1 2017: € 385 million). The impact of the January storm this year (€ 31 million) was offset by higher results in the Life segments and growth in the other segments.
  • Operating return on equity 14.7% over the first half year of 2018, well above the target of ‘up to 12%’.
  • Combined ratio was 97.1% (H1 2017: 93.6%). This includes the impact of the January storm (2.1%-point) and the higher combined ratio of the acquired Non-life activities of Generali Nederland.
  • Operating result of the Non-life segment amounted to € 66 million including the impact of the January storm (H1 2017: € 106 million).
  • Operating result of the Life segment increased by 8.3% to € 340 million, primarily as a result of higher direct investment income (€ 16 million).
  • Net result of € 368 million, a decrease of 7.3% (H1 2017: € 397 million), mainly due to the costs of the social plan as a result of the integration of Generali Nederland and incidental items.

Interim dividend of € 92 million (€ 0.65 per share[1])

  • Interim dividend is equal to 40% of the dividend for the whole of 2017.

Solvency II ratio (standard formula) at 194% after interim dividend

  • Solvency II ratio[2] (standard formula) as at 30 June 2018 stood at 194% (31 December 2017: 196%), absorbing the acquisition of Generali Nederland (-9%-point), the impact of the UFR (-3%-point) and the interim dividend (-3%-point). The ratio was supported by the organic capital creation (5%-point), the higher volatility adjustment (6%-point) and other developments (2%-point).
  • Organic capital creation amounted to € 179 million. This includes the impact of the January storm (H1 2017: € 193 million).
  • Solvency II capital position remained very robust; 85% consists of Tier 1 capital. Financial flexibility is strong with a headroom in tier 1 of € 845 million and in tier 2 and 3 combined of € 749 million.

Solid operating performance and integration of Generali Nederland well on track

  • Gross written premiums in Non-life segment increased by € 243 million to € 1,717 million, as a result of organic growth in all three product lines (€ 67 million) as well as the acquisition of Generali Nederland (€ 176 million). Gross written premiums in the Life segment increased from € 848 million to € 885 million, mainly resulting from the acquisition of Generali Nederland and an increase in capital light DC.
  • Assets under management on behalf of third parties (a.s.r. vermogensbeheer and a.s.r. vastgoed) increased by € 1.3 billion to € 15.6 billion (31 December 2017: € 14.3 billion). The growth was mainly due to new contracts for the ASR Hypotheekfonds (€ 702 million) and the ESG funds line (€ 549 million).
  • Integration of Generali Nederland is proceeding according to plan; legal merger of the entities has been accomplished and the funeral insurance portfolio is the first portfolio that has successfully been migrated to the a.s.r. platform.

[1] Interim dividend over H1 2018 based on 141 million shares.

[2] Excluding a.s.r. bank. Including a.s.r. bank the Solvency II ratio amounts to 193% after distribution of interim dividend.

Jos Baeten, CEO:

“The financial results for the first half of 2018, and the progress of the integration of Generali Nederland, are both very satisfying. It shows the execution power of a.s.r. We succeeded in keeping the operating result at the level of the first half of 2017 despite the impact from the January storm this year. The decrease in the result in the Non-life segment is compensated by increases in the other segments. Our cost discipline remains as strong as ever. Excluding Generali Nederland, operating expenses show a decrease of 9 million euros. The operating return on equity is again well above our target at 14.7% on an annualised basis and our solvency remains robust at 194%. This again shows our strong performance.

We continue to make every effort to show that we are worth our customers’ trust. Therefore we are very pleased with the strong increase in the number of customers in the Vernieuwd Voordeel Pakket (a product that combines various insurance coverages) for Non-life insurance products, with over 350 new customers signing up on some days. The number of participants of the DC product WerknemersPensioen is well on track and has already achieved the milestone of 50,000 active participants. Furthermore, new initiatives and innovations have started in order to keep the influx of (young) new customers on track. The initial market response to the new Langer Mee product for occupational disability is encouraging. We also see positive developments with institutional customers in our ESG and mortgage fund. We are particularly proud of the fact that new major asset management clients find their way to our Dutch Prime Retail Fund and the Dutch Mobility Office Fund.

In addition to the increase in gross written premiums due to the integration of the activities of Generali Nederland, all three product lines in the Non-life segment show an organic growth of 4.5% for the first six months this year. The combined ratio is negatively impacted by the January storm and the activities taken over from Generali Nederland and is at 97.1% only slightly above our target of 97.0%. Without the inclusion of Generali Nederland, the combined ratio is ahead of our target. We are confident that with our craftmanship we can achieve the targeted combined ratio for the Generali Nederland portfolio over time. The combined ratio for occupational disability insurance remains strong at a very low level of 91.2%.

Although the January storm made for higher claims, these are the moments where the added value for our customers becomes visible. The settlement of the claims relating to this storm went smoothly, as demonstrated by the positive response we received from customers, in particular about the speed with which we dealt with the claims.

In the Life segment our cost discipline proves effective. Without the additional costs of the acquisition of Generali Nederland, the operating costs decreased in line with the decline of the portfolio. The gross written premiums of Pensions increased due to the success of the DC (WerknemersPensioen), which realised 44 million euro more premium in the first six months of this year. An increase in repayments of mortgage loans may accelerate the decline of the Individual Life portfolio. Focus on cost control remains key.

The Distribution and Services segment was commercially successful and, among other things, realised a higher income. Also the Bank and Asset Management segment improved further from a commercial point of view with an increase in fee income from new clients and an increase in assets entrusted to our investment funds.

These strong business results drive our organic creation of capital. At 194%, our solvency is robust and the quality of the solvency is high. The Solvency II ratio, based on Tier 1 capital only, amounts to 165%.

Based on the strong results over the first six months and the robust solvency, we will pay-out an interim dividend of 92 million euros. This is 40% of the dividend for the preceding year, and 0.65 euro per share.

The quality of our work determines our results and these are satisfying. In addition, the integration of the activities of Generali Nederland in the recent period has required additional efforts from many colleagues. We are proud of the results we realised and of all our colleagues who contributed to this.”

Key figures

(€ million, unless per share or as percentage)

H1 2018

H1 2017

Delta

Operating result1

382

385

-0.8%

Operating return on equity2

14.7%

17.4%

-2.7%-p

Net result (on IFRS basis)

368

397

-7.3%

Return on equity

15.5%

19.2%

-3.7%-p

Gross written premiums

2,502

2,233

12.0%

Operating expenses

-299

-283

5.7%

Combined ratio (Non-life segment)

97.1%

93.6%

3.5%-p

New production (Life segment (APE))

36

26

38.5%

 

 

 

 

 

30 June 2018

31 Dec. 2017

Delta

Total equity

5,493

5,432

1.1%

Total equity attributable to shareholders

4,493

4,432

1.4%

Solvency II ratio (standard formula) after interim dividend

194%

196%

-2%-p

Financial leverage

25.4%

25.3%

0.1%-p

Cash position holding

229

463

-50.5%

Number of FTEs (internal)

3,793

3,493

8.6%

 

 

 

 

 

H1 2018

H1 2017

Delta

Operating result per share3

1.87

1.85

1.1%

Interim dividend per share

0.65

n.a.

n.a.

Number of shares issued and outstanding at year-end (million)

141.0

147.0

-4.1%

Weighted average of shares issued and outstanding (million)

141.0

146.9

-4.0%

Notes to the table

  1. The operating result is the result before tax, adjusted for (i) incidental investment income (including realised capital gains, impairments and realised or unrealised changes in value) and (ii) incidental income and expenses that are not related to normal business operations but are, for example, the result of changes in accounting policies, consultancy costs for acquisitions, reorganisation costs, start-up costs and shareholder-related costs.
  2. The operating return on equity is calculated by dividing the operating result before tax after deduction of interest on hybrid capital and taxes (tax rate: 25%) by the annual average equity attributable to shareholders after deduction of the reserve for unrealised gains and losses and the equity for property development (business activities in run-off).
  3. The operating result per share is calculated by dividing the operating result before tax after deduction of interest on hybrid capital and taxes (tax rate: 25%) by the weighted average number of outstanding shares.

The figures included in this press release have not been audited and no limited review by an auditor has taken place.