14Nov08

Press release

Group

SCOR generates net income of EUR 280 million in the first nine months of 2008 with a liquidity position strongly increasing to EUR 3.2 billion

SCOR's first nine months of 2008 results.

SCOR generates satisfactory results for the first nine months of 2008, despite a challenging financial market environment. The results benefit from a positive operating performance in Life and Non-Life business, as well as from a prudent asset management policy. SCOR’s business model, which is based on high business and geographical diversification and focuses on traditional reinsurance, demonstrates its strength in a time of financial crisis, having also withstood major recent claims following hurricanes in the United States. 
 
  • Net income year-to-date stands at EUR 280 million. Annualized return on equity (ROE) stands at 10.7% and nine months’ earnings per share (EPS) at EUR 1.56. SCOR achieves a net profit of EUR 38 million in the third quarter 2008.
  • Business engines are performing well: Non-Life reports a year-to-date 93.3% technical ratio and a combined ratio of 99.2%, despite major US cat events Ike and Gustav. Life delivered a year-to-date operating margin of 6.5%.
  • Top-line performance is in line with expectations, with year-to-date 2008 gross written premiums standing at EUR 4,325 million, up 27.9% compared to the first nine months of 2007 on a published and adjusted1 basis. On a pro-forma basis and at constant exchange rates, premium volume rose by 3.5%. 
  • Continued focus on liquidity management more than doubles cash and short-term investments to EUR 3.2 billion compared to 30 September 2007. Positive operating cash flow in the amount of EUR 711 million year-to-date, plus a highly liquid bond portfolio with a duration of less than three years, which is expected to generate additional EUR 2.5 billion of cash by the end of 2009.
  • Very limited reinsurance liabilities exposed to economic activity risks; no material off balance sheet exposure.
  • Investment portfolio affected by asset impairments and writedowns in the amount of EUR 127 million, partially offset by net realised gains of EUR 62 million. Market turmoil may continue to affect the performance of SCOR’s investment portfolio in future quarters. 
  • Overall, very robust shareholders’ equity of EUR 3.5 billion at 30 September 2008. Book value per share stands at EUR 19.46.
  • Pricing levels in 2009 are expected to rise throughout the industry, as a result of a probable increase in reinsurance demand. 
Denis Kessler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SCOR, comments: “Our current results and balance sheet strength demonstrate the effectiveness of SCOR’s strategy, which relies on high business and geographical diversification and focuses on traditional reinsurance activity. This policy produces very positive operating cash flows. The Group has no liquidity issues and our current solvency strongly supports our rating. However, the financial market turmoil may continue to affect the performance of our investment portfolio in future quarters. SCOR is well positioned to profit from an increase in reinsurance demand and an increase in premium rates in the upcoming renewal season.
 

Contact

Marie-Laurence Bouchon

Group Head of Communications

+33 (0)1 58 44 75 43

mbouchon@scor.com

 

Ian Kelly

Head of Investor Relations

+44 203 207 8561

ikelly@scor.com