SCOR’s solid results for the first half of 2009 demonstrate once again the resilience of its business model in a financial environment that continues to be challenging. The higher premium volume confirms the commercial dynamism of the Group, supported by a strong capital base and profit momentum.
Key items of the first half 2009:
- Net income year-to-date stands at EUR 184 million, down 24.0% against 2008, or EUR 1.03 per share (EPS), with an annualized return on equity (ROE) of 10.6%;
- Total gross written premiums reach EUR 3,254 million, up 18.4% against the same period in 2008 (16.2% at constant exchange rates);
- SCOR Global P&C reports a combined ratio of 97.5%, with natural catastrophe claims accounting for 5.6 points, primarily driven by Q1’09 losses related to European climate events, notably the storm Klaus in France and Spain;
- Strong July renewals for SCOR Global P&C with price increases of 5.9% (vs. 3.3% at 1 January renewals) demonstrate SCOR’s capacity to benefit from positive reinsurance market conditions, and to leverage its improved competitive position;
- SCOR Global Life delivers an operating margin of 5.1% (or 5.9% excluding net investment losses);
- SCOR Global Investments pursues its prudent investment strategy. The execution of the inflection program, as presented at the July Investors’ day, results in an improvement of the quarterly recurring investment yield from 2.7% at Q1’09 to 3.3% for Q2’09;
- The application of unchanged accounting rules leads to asset impairments and write-downs of EUR 184 million, primarily occurring in the first quarter of 2009, with a limited impact on book value. In the second quarter of 2009, the recovery of the financial markets limits asset impairments and write-downs to EUR 28 million (pre-tax);
- Shareholders’ equity increases strongly year-to-date by EUR 219 million or 6.4% to EUR 3.6 billion after EUR 143 million in dividend paid during the reporting period; book value per share stands at EUR 20.21;
- SCOR settles its litigation with Highfields that dates from 2001. The settlement, net of insurance recoveries and tax, amounts to EUR 5.6 million.
Denis Kessler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SCOR, comments: “SCOR’s 2009 first half results demonstrate yet again the solidity of our franchise. The strong growth in premium volume and shareholders’ equity support what we said at our Investors’ Day: that the Group is pursuing its strategy of endogenous growth with “gardening” deals of limited size that complement our existing activities. On the asset side, we have continued to take prudent steps to enhance the recurring yield of our portfolio. SCOR is well positioned to seize business opportunities during the forthcoming 2010 renewals, capitalizing on its strong market position”.