The Wüstenrot & Württembergische Group (W&W) is completely on course after the first six months of 2018. Consolidated earnings after taxes were actually slightly above the Group’s own expectations, at EUR 116.4 million. New business overall was encouraging for the financial services group, with growth achieved in the construction financing and insurance sector. The previous expectation of consolidated net profit of at least EUR 200 million for the whole of 2018 was confirmed.
Jürgen A. Junker, Chairman of the Executive Board of W&W AG: “The first half of the year saw the launch of additional product innovations in the context of the ongoing investment programme, the biggest in the history of our company. It is quite clear that the digitisation of our business models and processes is gaining more and more momentum. The fact that the W&W Group can at the same time achieve success in its markets is demonstrated by the amount of new business acquired. The progress made so far this year makes me very confident that we will not only achieve our financial targets in 2018, but also make good strategic advances.”
Important key figures in the first half of 2018
- Consolidated net profit after taxes amounted to EUR 116.4 million. It thus remained – as forecast and expected – below the corresponding figure for the previous year of EUR 154.9 million, but slightly above expectations. The drop in net income can be attributed to the record investment programme, as already described, amounting to EUR 820 million for the period from 2018 to 2020. The purpose of this programme includes the digital transformation of the Group.
- The highest income contribution again came from property/casualty insurance at EUR 62.1 million.
- General administrative expenses in the Group increased slightly by 1.2 per cent, to EUR 523.3 million (first half of 2017: EUR 516.9 million). Lower personnel expenses were countered by a rise in materials costs, resulting from such factors as the new market presence of Württembergische Versicherung and the continued development of the digital brand Adam Riese, launched in 2017.
Business area development in the first half of 2018
- Gross premiums written in property and casualty insurance increased by 5.9 per cent to around EUR 1.2 billion. Claims arising from natural disasters were considerably higher than in the previous year and there was a corresponding rise in insurance benefits. However, the gross combined ratio reached a very good level at 90.2 per cent (previous year: 86.2 per cent). New business increased overall to EUR 151.0 million in the first half of the year, as a result of encouraging trends in motor insurance and among private customers.
- In life and health insurance, gross premiums written rose by 2.5 per cent to just short of EUR 1.1 billion, primarily as a result of increased single premiums.
- In the construction financing business the W&W Group achieved overall growth amounting to around ten per cent from January to June 2018, up to EUR 3.0 billion.
- The new home loans and savings business of Wüstenrot Bausparkasse declined in the first six months. Germany’s second biggest home loans and savings bank achieved gross new business according to contract volume amounting to EUR 6.73 billion (first half of 2017: EUR 7.01 billion). Net new business amounted to EUR 5.3 billion, following EUR 5.8 billion in the previous year. A rise in new business is expected in the second half of the year.
New digital business models and strategic focus
The W&W Group successfully introduced a large number of digital initiatives to the market in the first half of 2018. At the start of this year, the finance assistant “FinanzGuide” came onto the market. It is an app that enables customers to view their personal insurance, home loan and savings and bank portfolio on their smartphone. This was followed in April by NIST, a digital finance assistant for real estate purchases. The assistant guides users in simple and comprehensible steps from the search for a property through to financing it. Since May the new digital business models of the W&W Group have been concentrated in brandpool GmbH, which includes NIST and FinanzGuide, as well as treefin, Adam Riese and Keleya. This subsidiary will promote the establishment of new products and services and coordinate them within the Group.
The product offensive is part of the “W&W Better!” initiative, which covers all areas of the Group and in particular also supports the Group’s traditional mobile sales force. This also includes the continuous improvement of local service and advice, which is why the W&W Group is investing heavily in the qualification and further training of its employees.
Stuttgart, 13 August 2018, 09:36 am