Triglav Group's consolidated profit before tax amounted to EUR 26.4 million as at 31 March 2020, a decrease of 12% relative to the corresponding period last year. Profit before tax from the underwriting activities amounted to EUR 15.3 million (-22%). Its decrease is mainly a result of major CAT events, which led to an increase in non-life insurance claims provisions.
Profit from financial investments of the insurance business in the amount of EUR 10.8 million is higher than last year in accounting terms (+32%) due to certain adjustments in the structure of the life insurance portfolio, whereas the rates of return on non-life and health insurance investment portfolios decreased, as expected, due to lower gains on the sale of financial investments.
- Gross written premiums: EUR 349 million (+10%), of which:
- GWP Slovenia: EUR 260 million (+6%)
- GWP Croatia: EUR 22 million (+20%)
- GWP Serbia: EUR 17 million (+19%)
- GWP Montenegro: EUR 10 million (+20%)
- GWP BiH: EUR 9 million (+21%)
- GWP North Macedonia: EUR 5 million (-6%)
- GWP reinsurance: EUR 24 million (+42%)
- Gross claims paid:EUR 178 million (+7%)
- Combined ratio: 93.9% (+2.3 pp.)
- Net profit: EUR 22 million (-12%)
Premium growth and a favourable combined ratio. Triglav Group posted a total of EUR 348.9 million in consolidated gross written premium, up by 10% relative to the same period last year. Premium growth on the Slovene market was 6%, while on markets outside of Slovenia it stood at 17%.
Premium grew in all three insurance segments. An 8% premium growth was achieved in the non-life insurance segment, with growth being recorded in most non-life insurance classes. Health insurance premium grew by 21%, primarily due to an increase in the average premium last year. Due to higher payments and effective sales through the banking channel, life and pension insurance premiums rose by 11%.
Major CAT events increased the claims ratio, which deteriorated Triglav Group's combined ratio. The combined ratio stood at 93.9%. The situation in the business environment, which was affected by the pandemic, caused a drop in the value of financial investments, but did not have a significant impact on the Group's profit in the first quarter of the year.
Total operating expenses of the insurance business amounted to EUR 64.3 million in the first three months of 2020. Their 5% growth is lower than planned and mainly resulted from higher acquisition costs and labour costs due to premium growth. Operating expenses growth lagged behind premium growth, therefore their share in premium dropped by further 0.8 percentage point to 18.4%.
Investment portfolio and assets under management. Falling financial market prices resulted in negative rates of return on Triglav Group's EUR 3.1 billion investment portfolio. In these circumstances, Triglav Group maintained a conservative portfolio structure with a 73.6% share of debt securities, mostly invested in the euro area and of high quality, and adjusted the shares of individual investment grades through active investment. In this way, it maintained adequate diversification of the whole investment portfolio, as well as provided additional liquidity by increasing the share of cash (+64%).
The volume of assets under management in the Group's mutual funds decreased by 15% to EUR 875.6 million relative to the 2019 year-end, while discretionary mandate assets declined by 9% to EUR 74.7 million. In these challenging conditions, Triglav Group further consolidated its leading position among asset management companies in the mutual fund segment in Slovenia, increasing its market share by 0.3 percentage point to 34.2% in the first quarter of 2020.
"Although the economic situation is deteriorating, it did not have a negative impact on premium income in the first quarter of 2020. We assess that Triglav Group's insurance and investment portfolios are sufficiently resilient and that the capital position is appropriate to effectively cope with the increased risks arising from the business environment due to the coronavirus pandemic. (...)
Triglav Group remains committed to its vision to dynamically develop new ways of doing business by employing a client-centric approach as the foundation of the Group's responsible long-term development, while at the same time operating profitably and safely. (...)
We are currently operating in a challenging and very volatile environment with uncertainty about the economic impact of the pandemic and its duration, which prevents us from assessing the fulfilment of the annual plan at this time. For the time being, we anticipate that this will be possible at the publication of half-yearly results."