The Wüstenrot & Württembergische Group (W&W) continued to develop positively during the first half-year of 2015. The Group’s consolidated net profit rose considerably to 144.1 million euros compared with the previous year (130.6 million euros). In July the Stuttgart-based financial service group raised its earnings forecast for the whole year to between 200 and 240 million euros, which was however dependent on there being no unusual liabilities due to extreme claims or particular changes in the capital markets. The previous forecast was around 200 million euros. With the introduction of new products like "PrivatRente Extra" or the "Rendite-Duo", which combines call money and investments, the specialist for financial provisions has further strengthened its offers this year in line with customer requirements.
Nearly all areas of new business developed positively for the W&W Group during the first half-year of 2015. Wüstenrot Bausparkasse increased its gross new business by nearly four per cent to around 7.3 billion euros (previous year: 7.0 billion euros), which meant its growth was stronger than the market overall. Net new business remained relatively stable with a home loan savings volume of 5.3 billion euros (previous year: 5.5 billion euros). This successful business development of the number 2 in the market once again highlighted just how attractive home loan savings are as a form of provision. With around 2.7 billion euros compared with ca. 2.2 billion euros in the same period the year before, the Group also experienced significant growth in its construction financing business – which was achieved although focus had been placed on more profitable offers. Brokering activity for other banks was successful as well, also via the construction financing platform, which had a positive impact with ca. 550 million euros (previous year: 360 million euros).
With regard to the insurance companies of the W&W Group, gross premiums written for damage and accident insurance increased during the first half of the year. They rose by around 39 million euros to 1.04 billion euros. Gross premiums written for personal insurance amounted to 1.12 billion euros (previous year: 1.15 billion euros). The conservative underwriting policy of Württembergische Lebensversicherung for single premiums had an effect here, among other things.
Dr Alexander Erdland – Chairman of the Executive Board of W&W AG: "The positive results of the first half year of 2015 show that the W&W Group is still on its road to success. This has only been possible because we started acting in a cost- and risk-conscious manner early on. We also continually monitor the quality of our services to ensure they align with the requirements of our customers." The recently confirmed ratings of Standard & Poor’s substantiate the course of W&W. The core companies still enjoy an "A" rating with a stable outlook, and risk management was rated as "Strong" for the first time.
Close to the customer with new products
The W&W Group launched numerous new products and features during the year, which offer attractive return possibilities in the current phase of low interest rates. With the product line "Extra", for example, the life insurance subsidiary WürttLeben is offering a new pension product for private (PrivatRente Extra) and occupational pension schemes. The pension combines the traditional guarantees for capital and the pension fund with a higher rate of interest during the savings accumulation period – as a result of this, the pension guaranteed when the contract is concluded is lower than comparable, traditional products. The insured however also has the chance of benefiting from a higher pension, when reaching actual pension age, if the guaranteed interest rate has risen again by that date.
The motto of the "Rendite-Duo" at Wüstenrot Bank is "Security meets Opportunity". The product combines the short term returns of call money with the long-term perspectives of an investment. If the customer provides an initial, fixed investment amount, half of it is used in an appropriate investment fund, the other half is used to receive the attractive rates of the Wüstenrot Bank call money account for four months. At the moment, Wüstenrot Bank is repositioning itself as a digital bank for private customer business. Numerous innovative services, such as video identification when opening an account, video consulting for investment business or the "account without signature", are being accompanied by new offers from the bank in the account, card and investment areas. With 30,000 new customers, Wüstenrot Bank achieved significant success with its realignment during the first half of the year.