23Jul20

Press Release

Group

In H1 2020, SCOR absorbs the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and demonstrates its resilience

Half-year 2020 results

PUBLISHED AT 7:06 AM CET

 

SCOR is demonstrating its capacity to absorb the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, both operationally and financially. SCOR has been proactive in taking immediate actions to help stop the spread of the pandemic.

 

The Group adopted early and strict prevention measures to protect the health of its employees and has been active in regularly sharing its knowledge and expertise on the pandemic. Thanks to the resilience of its operational capability, the Group has been able to continuously serve its clients during this crisis.

 

SCOR has applied its modeling expertise to conduct a thorough assessment of its exposures to the health, economic and financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on data currently available, information received from cedants to date and the results of the models used, the total estimated cost of the Covid-19 pandemic booked in Q2 2020 reaches EUR 248 million on the P&C side,
EUR 194 million on the Life side and EUR 14 million on the investment side, i.e. a total estimated cost of EUR 456 million net of retrocession, net of reinstatement premiums and before tax, fully booked in the second quarter. The situation is as follows:

 

  • On the P&C side, the Group’s exposure comes mainly from Credit, Surety & Political risks and from Property Business Interruption. The actual Covid-19-related claims received are limited, standing at a total of EUR 74 million[1]. The Group has estimated the “ultimate” cost of this pandemic at EUR 248 million, net of retrocession and reinstatement premium, and before tax. It is this estimated amount that has been fully booked in the Q2 accounts.
    • Regarding Credit, Surety and Political Risks, limited cedant and insured information has been received to date, and the assessment is based upon models calibrated for forecasts of the impact of Covid-19 on growth and for the extensive intervention measures from governments and central banks. This estimate will be refined during H2 2020.
    • Regarding Property Business Interruption, SCOR has estimated that its exposures relate to a very small amount of affirmative pandemic coverage and non-damage Business Interruption, mostly in Western Europe, with non-damage Business Interruption scarce in the U.S. and largely sub-limited in APAC. Uncertainty in terms of estimating the cost of this business interruption arises from aggregation for this very small amount of affirmative coverage. Confirmation of these estimates will have to wait until H2 2020.
    • SCOR Global P&C has very limited Covid-19-related exposure to other P&C business lines. On casualty lines, there is very limited exposure to Directors & Officers (D&O), General Liability (GL) and medical malpractice lines, and no exposure to standalone workers compensation. SCOR has no exposure to event cancellation, postponement or relocation on a standalone basis, and very limited exposure from multi-line treaties. 

 

  • On the Life side, the actual Covid-19-related claims received as at June 30, 2020 are limited, standing at a total of EUR 63 million[2]. SCOR has estimated its exposure to the pandemic at June 30, 2020. The Group estimates the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its Protection book at EUR 194 million (net of retrocession and before tax). It is this estimated amount that has been fully booked in the Q2 accounts.
    • The main exposure arises in the United States. SCOR has booked a claim reserve provision of EUR 182 million[3] (net of retrocession and before tax) to cover Covid-19 related claims, incurred in the United States up to June 30, 2020. The Covid-19 impact on the SCOR Global Life U.S. book reflects strong differences between the U.S. general population and the population reinsured by SCOR Global Life. The impact on the population reinsured by the Group is significantly lower than observed for the general population, due to healthier lives related to the underwriting selection process, higher socio-economic groups which benefit from better healthcare and better ability to adhere to containment measures, and a lower proportion of older lives. Estimated impacts rely heavily on expert judgment as each month of claims takes on average 6 calendar months to be fully reported.
    • A further EUR 12 million of Covid-19-related claims have been booked in Europe and Asia Pacific in Q2 2020.
    • The evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic is still subject to a high level of uncertainty. SCOR monitors the situation continually thanks to a detailed proprietary epidemiological model. At this point the pandemic is estimated to have a manageable impact on SCOR Global Life’s portfolio over the next 12 months. The ultimate outcome of the pandemic is still subject to significant variation, due to compliance with containment measures in the U.S., the progress in medical treatments, and potential viral mutations.

 

  • On the investment side, SCOR benefited from the defensive nature and very high quality of its investment portfolio when the Covid-19 pandemic started. The level of impairment charge[4] remains limited in Q2 2020 at EUR 14 million before tax. The level of unrealized gains has increased by EUR 172 million between December 31, 2019 and June 30, 2020, despite
    EUR 62 million of realized gains largely coming from the real estate portfolio in Q1 2020.

 

The recent affirmations from Moody’s, Fitch and S&P regarding SCOR’s rating position, its solvency position well within the optimal 185% to 220% range and its ability to grow in the current crisis, highlight the Group’s financial strength and the resilience of its global franchise. SCOR considers the Covid-19 pandemic to be a fully manageable earnings event for the Group, impacting its annual results without eroding its capital position.

 

***

 

In H1 2020 SCOR absorbs the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and demonstrates its resilience.

 

  • Gross written premiums total EUR 8,195 million in H1 2020, up 1.0% at constant exchange rates compared with H1 2019 (up 2.3% at current exchange rates).
  • SCOR Global P&C gross written premiums are up 0.9% at constant exchange rates compared with H1 2019 (up 2.1% at current exchange rates). SCOR Global P&C’s H1 2020 technical profitability is impacted by Covid-19 with a combined ratio of 102.3%.
  • SCOR Global Life gross written premiums are up 1.0% at constant exchange rates compared with H1 2019 (up 2.5% at current exchange rates). SCOR Global Life records a technical margin of 5.4% in H1 2020, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • SCOR Global Investments delivers a strong return on invested assets of 2.6% in H1 2020, benefiting from capital gains and commencing the progressive redeployment of Group liquidity.
  • The Group cost ratio, which stands at 4.7% of gross written premiums, is better than the “Quantum Leap” assumption of ~5.0%.
  • The Group net income stands at EUR 26 million for H1 2020. The annualized return on equity (ROE) stands at 0.8%, 23 bps above the risk-free rate[5].
  • Group net operating cash flows stand at EUR 343 million in H1 2020, with contributions from both SCOR Global Life and SCOR Global P&C. The Group’s total liquidity is very strong, standing at EUR 2.8 billion at June 30, 2020.
  • Shareholders’ equity stands at EUR 6,392 million at June 30, 2020, up by EUR 18 million compared with December 31, 2019. This results in a strong book value per share of EUR 34.19, compared to EUR 34.06 at December 31, 2019.
  • Financial leverage stands at 25.9% on June 30, 2020, improving by 0.5% points compared to December 31, 2019. Allowing for the intended call of a subordinated debt[6] callable on October 20, 2020, the adjusted financial leverage ratio would be 24.9%.
  • The Group’s estimated solvency ratio stands at 205% on June 30, 2020, well within the optimal solvency range of 185% - 220% as defined in the “Quantum Leap” strategic plan. The fall in this ratio compared to December 31, 2019 was mainly driven by market movements (changes in interest rates, exchange rates and credit spreads), and to a lesser extent by the estimated impact of Covid-19.

 

 

Denis Kessler, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of SCOR, comments: “In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, SCOR has once again demonstrated both its capacity to absorb major shocks and the resilience of its business model. With its AA- credit rating, which matches that of other Tier 1 reinsurers and has been recently confirmed by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, the Group is in a very strong position to benefit from the hardening of the pricing environment and improved terms and conditions in the P&C market. SCOR continues to execute its strategic plan “Quantum Leap” combining growth, profitability and solvency, with no change in risk appetite, capital shield policy or capital management policy.”




[1] Gross of retrocession

[2] Gross of retrocession

[3] Based upon 163k population deaths in the U.S.

[4] Impairment charge excluding regular IFRS amortization of real estate assets. Excludes third-parties interest.

[5] Based on a 5-year rolling average of 5-year risk-free rates (59 bps in H1 2020)

[6] CHF 125 million undated subordinated note lines, issued on October 20, 2014, and callable in October 2020

 

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Ian Kelly

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