Jürgen A. Junker, Chairman of the Executive Board of W&W AG, says: "Financial services providers have faced a challenging environment for years, yet our Group is gaining increasing momentum and speed. Our central goal remains to record stronger growth than the market with respect to new business on a sustainable basis. Business in 2017 to date shows that we are in a position to achieve this. However, it is also clear that our future path will not become easier. Intensive competition, entry into the digital age and changing customer requirements characterise our industry. In this environment, one point is central for the W&W Group: to realise customer benefit as the absolute key parameter. Against this backdrop, we are continuing to invest heavily in our sales, in new products and in digitisation."
Performance of business areas after nine months of 2017
Home Loan and Savings Bank: New business in this segment in the third quarter of 2017 developed well, compared to the market. Gross net new business reached 10.11 billion euros, and as a result was only about 3 per cent below the figure for the previous year (10.43 billion euros). After nine months, net new business by home loan savings contract volume amounted to 8.46 billion euros at Wüstenrot Bausparkasse, which is almost at the previous year’s level of 8.79 billion euros. The overall special effects from the home loan and savings tariff "Wüstenrot Wohnsparen", which was introduced in 2016 and boosted new business in that year, should be taken into account here. Overall, Wüstenrot was able to expand its market position as the second largest German home loan bank. A further upturn in business is expected by the end of the year.
Construction financing business, including brokering for third parties, is on course for growth, increasing Group-wide by 3.1 per cent to 4.14 billion euros after three quarters (after nine months of 2016: 4.01 billion euros).
Property/Casualty Insurance: In property and casualty insurance there was further considerable growth in gross premiums written. They increased by 4.3 per cent to 1.48 billion euros (after nine months of 2016: 1.41 billion euros). The traditionally sustainable and risk-conscious underwriting policy of Württembergische Versicherung combined with moderate losses due to acts of nature to result in an improved combined ratio (gross) of 90.7 per cent (same period in the prior year: 91.3 per cent). The segment's results increased by almost a third from 84.2 million euros to 109.2 million euros.
Life and Health Insurance: In life and health insurance, gross premiums written amounted to 1.55 billion euros, following on from 1.70 billion euros in the same period in the prior year (-8.6 per cent). A conscious decision was made to dispense with single-premium business in life insurance and instead to target sustainable growth. The company pension scheme business developed positively. Here, premium revenues grew by 8.8 per cent to 583.9 million euros. In health insurance Württembergische Krankenversicherung was able to increase gross premiums by 7.3 per cent to 172.1 million euros (after nine months of 2016: 160.4 million euros).
Pleasing start for the new digital brand "Adam Riese"
To take into account changing customer requirements, W&W has launched numerous digital initiatives in the year to date. The digital brand "Adam Riese" was introduced for the insurance market in October 2017 – initially offering private liability insurance. Aimed at Internet-savvy customers who compare prices and products via brokers or independently online, "Adam Riese" offers basic products of a high quality. The W&W Group is thus tapping into new target groups and sales channels in the financial services market.
In parallel, the W&W Group is making good progress with the further development of electronic contact and acquisition opportunities. Wüstenrot and Württembergische have thus launched various online offers and services on the market, particularly over the last two years. "Wüstenrot Wohnsparen" has been available on the Internet since spring 2016, and numerous other products from traditional W&W brands have gone online since then. At the same time, the two websites mein.wuestenrot.de and meine.wuerttembergische.de have gradually been expanded into service portals. In parallel, the Group has been enhancing interfaces in its traditional business by establishing more tandem offices featuring both Group brands.