Business development

Strong rise in profit +15.9%

Helvetia Group generated underlying earnings of ­CHF 422 million in the 2014 financial year. This was ­CHF 58 million or around 16 % more than in the previous year. Earnings were driven by the profitable non-life ­business, where profit increased by around 33 % to ­CHF 255 million. Of this, the two companies acquired – Nationale Suisse and Basler Austria – contributed around CHF 22 million. The profit in the life business remained stable in a difficult capital market environment.

Integration «on track»

Helvetia can already show first successes in the integration of Nationale Suisse and Basler Austria: the future management structures, target organisations, processes and the harmonised product range for the “new Helvetia” have been defined in all the country markets. The sales launch with an expanded network of offices under the Helvetia brand will take place in Switzerland on 1 May 2015 and gradually in Germany, Spain and Italy from mid-2015.

The acquired company Basler Austria now operates under the brand name, Helvetia. The new sales organisation has been launched with the sale of the consolidated product range in life insurance.

Increased dividends CHF 18.00

Thanks to Helvetia’s very good profit, the Board of ­Directors will propose an increase in the dividend to ­CHF 18.00 at the Shareholders’ Meeting.

Dynamic growth in non-life +10.3%

Thanks to the takeover of Nationale Suisse and Basler Austria, premiums increased across the group by 10.3 % in the profitable non-life business (in original ­currency)¹ to CHF 2,789 million. The two acquisitions in the largest country markets of Switzerland and Austria boosted growth considerably, and premium volumes in the ­non-life business increased by 14.5 % and 23.5 %.

Capital position 216%

The capital base remains extremely solid, even after the acquisitions, with a Solvency I ratio of 216 %. The SST ­ratio at the end of 2014 is expected to be between 150 and 200 % even after the acquisitions.

Combined Ratio 93.1%

Thanks to the low claims ratio in a financial year that had few major claim events, the net combined ratio improved to 93.1 %, once again exceeding the Group’s target ­range of 94 % to 96 %.

¹ Original currency is abbreviated to OC in the following.

 

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Helvetia Group’s performance

Helvetia was able to impress once again in the financial year 2014 with a very good business performance. The acquisitions of Nationale Suisse and Basler Austria saw Helvetia take significant steps in the Swiss and Austrian markets. With a strong top 3 positioning, Helvetia is a leading all-lines insurer in Switzerland. In Austria, Helvetia is ranked among the top 10 Austrian ­insurance companies. Thanks to the acquisition of Nationale Suisse, Helvetia was also able to develop further its position in Europe. The good business performance was also reflected in the business figures.

The business volume of the new Helvetia Group was CHF 7,766.6 million, representing an increase compared to the previous year – especially thanks to the acquisitions – of 4.4 % in ­original currency. The two companies acquired in 2014, Nationale Suisse and Basler Austria, made their first contribution to growth with ­
CHF 328.1 million. Both of the acquired companies were consolidated pro rata in the consolidated financial statements 2014 and will show the full impact of their contributions in 2015. The ­organic growth recorded amounted to 0.3 % (in OC). Underlying earnings¹ of the new Helvetia Group increased by 15.9 % from CHF 363.8 million in financial year 2013 to CHF 421.7 ­million².

The net combined ratio of 93.1 % was once again very good, and above the target of 94 to 96 %. Capitalisation remained strong as well: Solvency I came to 216 % (2013: 218 %). Our SST ratio as of 30 June 2014 was within the 150 – 200 % range.

¹ Underlying earnings are adjusted for integration expenses, as well as amortisation of intangible assets, additional planned amortisation due to revaluation of interest-bearing securities at market value and other one-off effects of the acquisitions. Underlying earnings is not an IFRS key figure, and therefore was not audited by the Helvetia Group’s statutory auditor. Nonetheless, it is derived from the audited IFRS figures.
² As in the previous year no significant special effects from acquisitions were reported, thus the previous year’s ­earnings have not been adjusted.