W&W Group continues growth in new business
- Strong to very strong growth across nearly all lines.
- Wüstenrot still on course for record performance, accompanied by strong new business in Württembergische’s life, health and property insurance.
- Unusually high claims expenses squeeze IFRS consolidated net income in third quarter as previously announced – HGB result stable.
- Net profit of €101 million after nine months.
- Company confirms HGB earnings target for 2023 and strives for dividend continuity.
- W&W CEO Jürgen A. Junker: “Over the year to date, the W&W Group has demonstrated that it can operate successfully even in a difficult environment and that it clearly still has a lot more to give. This is reflected by growth in new business of more than 30 per cent in some cases.”
The Wüstenrot & Württembergische Group (W&W) has achieved further growth in new business in both the third quarter and the first nine months of this year. The financial planning group recorded increases across almost all areas, in some cases well above the market average. In the third quarter in particular, the income reported by the W&W Group in accordance with IFRS was affected by a string of natural disasters caused by severe weather conditions as well as significantly higher costs for the settlement of vehicle claims as a result of inflation. Consolidated net profit after the first nine months amounted to €101.1 million (previous year: €179.7 million). As previously announced on 25 October, the company has therefore revised its full-year IFRS earnings forecast for the W&W Group for 2023. The forecast for a net profit of around €120 million in W&W AG’s HGB single-entity financial statements has been confirmed. The company is also keen to ensure dividend continuity.
Jürgen A. Junker, CEO of W&W AG: “The W&W Group continues to perform well in its operating activities – and in some cases very well – despite the downbeat economy and the considerable uncertainty and pressure felt by many consumers on account of the crises around the world, inflation, the sharp rise in the cost of living and unclear political guidance. In the first nine months of the year, the W&W Group has demonstrated that it can operate successfully even in a difficult environment and that it clearly still has a lot more to give. This is reflected by growth in new business of more than 30 per cent in some lines.
The resilience and the solidity that we have worked to achieve in recent years are helping us to keep pushing towards our strategic goals. We will continue to actively invest in digitalisation for the benefit of our customers, in innovative products and services, and in enhancing our efficiency in order to grow our position on the markets. At the same time, it is important for us to maintain dividend continuity so that our shareholders know they can depend on us.”
New business performance in 9M 2023
In the Insurance division, property/casualty insurance generated new business growth (annual contribution to the portfolio, new and replacement business) of 24.6 per cent to €349.7 million in the period from January to September 2023 (previous year: €280.6 million). Motor and corporate customer business each achieved growth rates of more than 30 per cent. The line was impacted by a string of natural disasters and large losses due to adverse weather as well as higher costs per vehicle claim, not least as a result of higher workshop prices owing to inflation. Total premiums for new life insurance business rose by 2.8 per cent to €2.44 billion after €2.38 billion in the first nine months of 2022. This performance was driven by company pension schemes, which grew by almost 18 per cent, gaining momentum in the third quarter in particular.
In the Housing division, Wüstenrot’s new home loan savings business (gross) expanded by 3.1 per cent to €14.25 billion in the first three quarters of 2023 (previous year: €13.83 billion). Wüstenrot is therefore still growing more strongly than the market. As anticipated, new lending business (including brokering for third parties) fell significantly to €2.89 billion (previous year: €5.28 billion). This line is still heavily affected by the consequences of higher interest rates and the difficult conditions for new construction, modernisation and property purchases in Germany.
The company is confirming the revised full-year forecasts for 2023 that it issued on 25 October 2023. With new business remaining positive, it is anticipating consolidated net profit (IFRS) of between €130 and €160 million. The company is maintaining its forecast for W&W AG’s net income after taxes (HGB) of around €120 million for 2023.
Despite higher claims expenses due to inflation and the fact that the property market is expected to remain weak, the W&W Group is forecasting an increase in consolidated net profit in 2024 as against 2023. However, this will fall below the medium-term target range of between €220 and €250 million. In its single-entity financial statements (HGB), W&W AG is aiming for net income of around €130 million in 2024. As previously, the W&W Group anticipates dividend continuity and a positive trend in new business.
These forecasts are subject to there being no distortions on the capital and financial markets, no other unforeseeable events and no further strain on consumers.
The W&W Group
The W&W Group came into existence in 1999 as a result of the merger of the two long-standing companies Wüstenrot and Württembergische. Today, it develops and provides the four components of modern financial planning: financial security, residential property ownership, risk protection and savings and investment. It combines the Housing, Insurance and brandpool divisions as equally strong pillars, which enables it to offer every customer the financial planning solution that suits them best. In doing so, the W&W Group focuses on omni-channel sales, ranging from its own mobile sales force to cooperation partners and sales agents, broker activities and digital initiatives. Today, approximately 13,000 people work as in-house staff or in the mobile sales force for the listed group headquartered in Kornwestheim, Germany.