First quarter 2022 results

SCOR absorbs the combined impact of potential claims related to the conflict in Ukraine, a series of natural catastrophes and the continuation of the pandemic in the United States

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  • Gross written premiums of EUR 4,715 million in Q1 2022, up 9.7%  compared with Q1 2021
  • Net loss of EUR 80 million in Q1 2022, compared with EUR 45 million net income in Q1 2021
  • Shareholders’ equity of EUR 6,064 million at the end of March 2022, implying a book value per share of EUR 33.89, down -3.9 % from December 31, 2021 (EUR 35.26)
  • Estimated solvency ratio of 240% at the end of March 2022 (up from 226% at the end of 2021)
  • Completion of the announced EUR 200 million share buy-back

 

SCOR SE’s Board of Directors met on May 5, 2022, under the chairmanship of Denis Kessler, to approve the Group’s Q1 2022 financial statements.

Key highlights:

Q1 2022 was marked by a combination of exceptional events that have impacted the global economy in general and the reinsurance industry in particular. Most notably, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to global geopolitical instability with wide ranging macroeconomic consequences, from energy prices and inflation to stock market volatility, interest rates and economic growth. The level of natural catastrophes remains very high with windstorms in Europe, floods in Australia and an earthquake in Japan. The industry has also been affected by other extraordinary events such as a severe drought in Brazil. At the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic continues with the spread of the Omicron variant and has led to significant excess mortality, especially in the United States.

In this challenging context, SCOR continued to accomplish its mission, honoring all its commitments to its clients and demonstrating its shock-absorbing capacity, while fully complying with international sanctions relating to the conflict in Ukraine. The combination of these events led to a quarterly net loss of EUR 80 million driven by the EUR 85 million provisioned by SCOR with respect to the conflict in Ukraine. Despite these negative developments, the Group remains well capitalized with a 240% solvency ratio estimated at the end of Q1 2022. SCOR PO (the subsidiary owned by SCOR in Russia) has stopped underwriting new business. 

In Q1 2022, several signs of improvement can however be observed:

  • Market dynamics in P&C remain positive: SCOR has experienced gross written premium growth (up 9.7% at constant exchange rates), driven by P&C with strong growth of specialty insurance (gross written premiums up 28.7% at constant exchange rates in Q1). April 1 reinsurance renewals results were encouraging with gross written premiums up by 19.6%, benefitting from year-to-date price increase of 4.5% on average year-on-year;
  • The active steering of January 1 and April 1 renewals is leading to a reduction of exposures to climate-sensitive events, consistent with the commitments made in 2021;
  • Interest rates have started to increase, which should benefit SCOR as its portfolio is reinvested with a likely positive effect on the Group’s return on invested assets.

Building on this and as the market environment evolves, under “Quantum Leap”, SCOR has an action plan to reduce volatility and improve profitability in 2022, selectively focusing its growth on profitable lines, while proactively optimizing its retrocession strategy and working on other de-risking initiatives. These actions, combined with the ongoing transformation of the Group, should result in increased efficiency and support a return to a more robust and a more sustainable profitability level.

  • Gross written premiums of EUR 4,715 million in Q1 2022 are up 9.7%(1) at constant exchange rates compared with Q1 2021 (up 14.3% at current exchange rates).
  • SCOR P&C (Property and Casualty) gross written premiums are up 20.2% at constant exchange rates compared with Q1 2021 (up 24.9% at current exchange rates). SCOR P&C experiences strong 2022 renewals in Reinsurance and Specialty Insurance. The net combined ratio stands at 103.7%, including 10.1% of natural catastrophes, above the cat budget of 8%. 
  • At the April P&C reinsurance renewals, SCOR grew its portfolio by 19.6%. SCOR benefits from an overall price increase of 4.5% on Treaty reinsurance renewed year to date. The ongoing curtailing of the catastrophe exposure is now expected to lead to an exposure (PML)(2)  reduction of 15% year-on-year at the end of 2022.
  • SCOR L&H (Life and Health) gross written premiums are up 1.1% at constant exchange rates compared with Q1 2021 (up 5.6% at current exchange rates). Over the period, SCOR L&H delivers a net technical margin of 1.4%, slightly down compared with Q1 2021 (1.6%), impacted by Covid-19 claims.
  • SCOR Investments delivers a return on invested assets of 1.8%(3)  in Q1 2022.
  • The Group cost ratio, which stands at 4.7% of gross written premiums in Q1 2022, remains below the “Quantum Leap” assumption of ~5.0%.
  • The Group net loss stands at EUR 80 million in Q1 2022, implying a negative return on equity.
  • The Group generates negative operating cash flows of EUR -116 million in Q1 2022, mostly driven by the payment of Covid-19 claims. The Group’s total liquidity is very strong, standing at EUR 1.7 billion as at March 31, 2022.
  • The Group shareholders’ equity stands at EUR 6,064 million as of March 31, 2022. This results in a book value per share of EUR 33.89, compared to EUR 35.26 as of December 31, 2021.
  • The Group financial leverage stands at 28.8% as at March 31, 2022, up 1.0 points compared to December 31, 2021 (27.8%), as an automatic consequence of the decrease in shareholders’ equity. 
  • The Group solvency ratio is estimated at 240% on March 31, 2022, above the optimal solvency range of 185% - 220% as defined in the “Quantum Leap” strategic plan.

The EUR 200 million share buy-back announced in October 2021 was completed on March 3, 2022.

As per its communication released on February 24, 2022, SCOR is proposing a dividend of EUR 1.80 per share for the fiscal year 2021. This dividend will be submitted for the approval of the shareholders at the 2022 Annual General Meeting, to be held on May 18, 2022. 

The Group is actively preparing for IFRS 17. The project is on track to be able to deliver our financial reporting under IFRS 17 in 2023. The standard more appropriately recognizes the economic value of the Group, and in particular the value of the Group’s life reinsurance portfolio. Based on our current assessment, the expected economic value of the Group, defined as shareholders’ equity plus contractual service margin (CSM) net of tax, would exceed EUR 9 billion(4) as at 1 January 2022.

SCOR will provide an update on the environment and its strategic ambitions on 28 July 2022 together with its Q2 results, and its full strategic plan including under the IFRS 17 framework, on November 9th, together with its Q3 results (Investor Day).


Denis Kessler, Chairman of SCOR, comments:Uncertainties and instabilities are multiplying: the pandemic is ongoing, global refragmentation is accelerating, inflation is back, economic growth is slowing down and the world is being hit by natural catastrophes… Our environment seems increasingly stochastic and random, and global predictability seems to be shrinking. Indeed, the (re)insurance industry appears to be facing increasingly frequent shocks and multifaceted and widespread threats. In this respect, we are living in a time of ‘great change’. In this environment of major transformation, where risks are multiplying, reinsurance is increasingly necessary to provide security to all economic agents. To accomplish their fundamental mission, reinsurers need to transform themselves and adapt all aspects of their risk management policies. As ultimate risk carriers, their Solvency is critically important. SCOR is ready to meet all these challenges, building on its franchise, its recognized technical expertise, the talent of its teams and its command of new technology. I am convinced that SCOR, with its proven good governance and proactive management, will steadfastly pursue the best ways and means to enable the Group to continue its value creating journey.”

Laurent Rousseau, Chief Executive Officer of SCOR, comments: “Q1 2022 has been marked by a series of exceptional events both in L&H and in P&C, which have negatively impacted our financial performance. Amongst these, we have been especially focused on managing the impact of the conflict in Ukraine - from a financial, operational and human standpoint. 

We are also continuously focused on our main objectives: reducing volatility, increasing profitability, growing the franchise, optimally allocating capital and embarking on the transformation of the Group. Our January 1 and April 1 P&C treaty reinsurance renewals have been strong, and we have a clear action plan in place across the entire organization to improve the Group’s financial performance in 2022. Despite an accounting loss, SCOR’s solvency position remains robust, with a solvency ratio of 240%.” 

 

(1) At constant exchange rates.
(2) PML (probable maximum loss) as measured by the net Aggregate Exceedance Probability-250.
(3) As at 31 March 2022, fair value through income on invested assets excludes EUR 18m related to the option on own shares granted to SCOR. The Q1 2022 RoIA at 1.8% is calculated based on IFRS 9 and includes the impact of expected credit losses (ECL) and change in fair value of invested assets measured at fair value through profit and loss. Excluding those impacts (which would not have been recorded under IAS39), the RoIA would have been at 2.1%
(4) Unaudited figures

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