W&W Group nearly doubles half-year profit
- Growth posted for new business – market share gained.
- Net measurement gain improves substantially – claims in the first half of the year still moderate.
- Digital brand Adam Riese grows at an accelerated pace, with more than 200,000 customers.
- Severe storms in Germany will adversely impact the loss ratio in the third quarter.
- Higher forecast for consolidated net profit for 2021 as a whole confirmed at EUR 280 to 330 million.
The Wüstenrot & Württembergische Group (W&W) enjoyed a highly successful first half of 2021, nearly doubling consolidated net profit. After-tax profit rose from EUR 107.0 million for the comparable period last year to EUR 196.2 million. The net measurement gain improved substantially, due also to the favourable environment for equities. Claims development was moderate in the first half of the year. New business continued at a brisk pace, leading to gains in market share. Overall, the range of digital products and services was expanded once again in the first six months of the year. The new digital and strategic venture embarked upon five years ago is continuing to show positive effects.
Jürgen A. Junker, Chairman of the Executive Board of W&W AG: “The very good development posted for the first six months of 2021 shows that the strategic initiatives we initiated in the W&W Group have been successful. In terms of new business, our growth surpasses the market average, and we are developing strong, innovative products that are resonating very well with customers. We are also attracting new customers with our digital products and increasing our efficiency thanks to faster processes and our cost management. In this regard, innovation, digitalisation and close personal service remain the cornerstones for transformation, which our teams throughout the Group are bringing about a little bit more each and every day. And despite the uncertainties surrounding the progression of the coronavirus pandemic, we are also confident about the second half of the year, because we know how strong the W&W Group has now become. That said, we currently expect that claims for the year as a whole will be considerably higher than the figure for the previous year due to the flooding catastrophe in July. However, we had proactively obtained reinsurance to cover such a contingency. We are assisting our customers in coping with this disaster by providing fast, straightforward help.”
In construction financing business (including brokering for third parties), the W&W Group posted an increase in new business of 14.1 percent to EUR 3.62 billion (prior-year period: EUR 3.17 billion), which again outpaced the market. Net new business (paid-in new business) in home loan savings came in at EUR 5.01 billion for the first six months, which was slightly lower (by 1.4 percent) than the figure for the previous year of EUR 5.08 billion but better than the market. The property companies Wüstenrot Haus- und Städtebau and Wüstenrot Immobilien continued their growth course.
In Life and Health Insurance, gross premiums rose by 11.5 percent in the first half of the year to EUR 1.33 billion (prior-year period: EUR 1.19 billion). In Property/Casualty Insurance, gross premiums increased by 6.5 percent to EUR 1.41 billion compared with EUR 1.33 billion last year, with all three segments (motor, corporate customers and retail customers) making a contribution. Motor insurance claims dropped, due in part to restrictions on mobility during the coronavirus lockdown. In property insurance, however, high expenses were incurred in June for natural disaster claims as a result of storms. Nevertheless, the combined ratio (combined ratio of claims and expenses) in Property/Casualty Insurance improved from 85.3 percent in the comparable period last year to 82.4 percent.
In the division for the W&W Group’s digital business models, the digital brand Adam Riese continued its path of growth and can now boast more than 200,000 customers. The pace of growth has thus doubled: Whereas Adam Riese needed almost 30 months to acquire its first 100,000 customers, it took only 15 months to reach the 200,000 mark. The brand ranks as a successful digital product with consistent brand management – which this year's German Brand Awards recognised by naming Adam Riese the Digital Brand of the Year.
Outlook for 2021 as a whole
Despite the massive damages in June and July as a consequence of the severe storms, particularly in western and southern Germany, which will have a significant negative impact in the third quarter, the W&W Group confirms the higher forecast for consolidated net income for 2021 that it announced in June. The Group continues to expect consolidated net profit for the year to come in at EUR 280 to 330 million, following EUR 210.8 million for the previous year. This is contingent on the pandemic not having any materially adverse impact over the remainder of the year, as well as on the absence of upheavals on the capital markets and of further unforeseeable major loss events.
Ludwigsburg, 13 August 2021
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 Stuttgart, Germany.