W&W Group right on track for 2021
- Consolidated net profit of EUR 236.9 million comes in above the value for the prior-year period by 39 per cent.
- Adverse effects from natural disasters losses occasioned by summer storms.
- Conservative risk strategy with forward-looking reinsurance quota proves successful also with storm losses.
- Continued positive trends in sales and premiums despite coronavirus restrictions.
- New real estate financing business rises by more than nine per cent.
- Digital insurer Adam Riese continues to grow beyond expectations.
- Forecast confirmed for consolidated net profit for 2021 as a whole.
- W&W Executive Board Chairman Jürgen A. Junker: “Not only is W&W becoming more and more successful in the market and with customers. It is also proving to be even more resilient.”
Despite sometimes difficult basic conditions, the Wüstenrot & Württembergische Group (W&W) continued its growth course again in the third quarter of this financial year, and after nine months, it is right on track to achieve its ambitious targets for the year. Consolidated net profit rose from EUR 170.4 million in the comparable prior-year period to EUR 236.9 million, an increase of 39 per cent. As previously announced, the third quarter was influenced by high claims expenses as a result of the severe flooding in parts of Germany. However, W&W’s conservative risk strategy with its forward-looking reinsurance quota proved successful. This made it possible to sharply limit the adverse impact that the losses had on results. In new business, the W&W Group again posted growth in both construction financing and insurance, despite the restrictions occasioned by the coronavirus. In light of this, the W&W Group continues to expect that consolidated net profit will come in in the range of EUR 280 to 330 million.
Jürgen A. Junker, Chairman of the Executive Board of W&W AG: “The venture we embarked upon five years ago, the extensive overhaul and our tight digitalisation: All of this, combined with keeping our customers’ requirements clearly in view, is showing significant success. Our results for the year to date underscore that the W&W Group is not only gaining customers and market shares but also has again become considerably more resilient. For instance, we were able to absorb the adverse effects of the severe damage from storms and flooding in June and July without affecting the balance sheet this year while also improving our results considerably. Not least because of our conservative risk strategy and the reinsurance policy connected with it, we are in a position to effectively work through those adverse effects. We continue to do all that we can to provide our customers with fast assistance in this catastrophe in a way that is free of red tape. We consider this to be of utmost importance in view of our clientèle and their existential concerns. Particularly in situations like this, our customers see that we are there for them when they need us. Despite the strains, we expect that 2021 will again be a successful financial year for the W&W Group, one in which we push further ahead with our transformation and the venture into the digital future. At the same time, we will remain cautious and attentive with respect to the external risks we continue to face.”
New business development in the first nine months of 2021
In the first nine months of 2021, the W&W Group posted very significant growth in new business in various divisions. For instance, gross premiums in life and health insurance rose by 9.4 per cent to EUR 1.89 billion (prior-year period: EUR 1.73 billion). Property/casualty insurance posted growth in gross premiums of 6.6 per cent to EUR 1.84 billion (prior-year period: EUR 1.73 billion), which was primarily attributable to the corporate customers and retail customers segments.
Whereas claims expenses in the motor segment remained stable year on year, they rose significantly in the case of retail and corporate customers. In this regard, gross expenses for natural disaster losses that resulted from the storm and flooding catastrophe in the summer were in the mid-nine figure range. However, the impact on results was sharply limited through corresponding reinsurance, meaning that the net loss ratio rose only slightly to 63.0 per cent (prior-year period: 60.6 per cent). The combined ratio (combined ratio of claims and expenses) in property/casualty insurance amounted to 88.8 per cent (prior-year period: 85.1 per cent).
Our digital insurer Adam Riese again outperformed our expectations. Four years after its launch in late 2017, it now services about 220,000 customers, nearly all of whom are new customers. Following its successful development, Adam Riese, as planned, has now been integrated in the sales of Württembergische Versicherung AG and the Insurance division. This provides additional digital experience and expertise to the entire W&W Group.
Growth was also achieved in construction financing. New business (including brokering for third parties) rose by 8.2 per cent to EUR 5.38 billion (prior-year period: EUR 4.97 billion). In this regard, the market environment continues to be marked by high demand for private construction financing. From January to September 2021, net new business (paid-in new business) in home loan savings amounted to EUR 7.28 billion following EUR 7.55 billion for the prior-year period (–3.7 per cent) and thus also outperformed the market. In addition, Wüstenrot Haus und Städtebau and Wüstenrot Immobilien were able to continue the successful development of their real estate activities.
brandpool broadens its range
In the third quarter, W&W brandpool GmbH, which pools the digital business models of the W&W Group, took a minority position in the Hamburg-based PropTech firm Immomio, which has developed a digital end-to-end solution for the rental process. It offers the company a completely digital method for handling marketing, interest management and digital leases. Immomio customers manage about 800,000 residential units throughout Germany. The investment creates new potentials for the W&W Group in the area of housing and insurance services.
Outlook for 2021 as a whole
Despite the adverse impact of losses resulting from the storms last summer, the W&W Group continues to anticipate for 2021 as whole that results will come in in the forecast range of EUR 280 to 330 million (2020: EUR 210.8 million). The forecast is subject to the proviso that over the remainder of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic does not cause further significant impairments, that the capital markets do not experience upheavals, and that there are no major loss events.
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, housing property, 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.