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Insurance group Sava sees 60% rise in H1 net profit to EUR 22.6m (adds)

Ljubljana, 22 August (STA) - The Sava Insurance Group, Slovenia's second largest, generated EUR 22.6 million in net profit in the first half of the year, a 59.3% year-on-year increase coming as gross premiums written were up 9.1% to EUR 336.8 million.

In a regulatory filing with the Ljubljana Stock Exchange, the core company Sava Re said the profit growth was driven by high growth in premiums, higher cost effectiveness, higher returns of financial investment and benign claims developments in Slovenia.

It added that the executed acquisitions are enabling the group to increase market shares in the insurance business and strengthen asset management activities.

The increase in gross premiums is attributed to growth in non-life insurance in Slovenia (9.5% growth), non-life insurance abroad (18.2%), reinsurance (6.6%), life insurance in Slovenia (1.5%) and life insurance abroad (8.2%).

The insurer highlighted the group's cost efficiency, with a 1.8% year-on-year improvement in the cost ratio of the insurance business in the first half of the year primarily reflecting faster premium growth compared to expenses.

"Additionally, the first half of the year was marked by a low incidence of large losses in Slovenia - unlike one year earlier, when Slovenia was hit by severe hailstorm losses - which strongly contributed to the improved net loss ratio in 2019," the company wrote.

The insurer has written 60.7% of the total premiums planned for 2019 in the first half of the year. Net profit is also on target, with the half-year profit accounting for 52.5% of the planned profit for the full year. The annualised return on equity was 12.5%.

Meanwhile, after Zavarovalnica Sava acquired Croatian insurers ERGO Osiguranje and ERGO Životno Osiguranje in February this year, Sava Re announced it has also signed an agreement to acquire part of the health service provider Diagnostični Center Bled.

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