W&W Group: Strong operational performance in first half of 2022
- Good result despite IFRS accounting effects.
- Strong home loan savings business with best new business in Wüstenrot’s history – growth of 40 per cent.
- Consistent growth in new business in property/casualty insurance – loss experience still good
- Earnings forecast for 2022 as a whole conditionally confirmed – elevated uncertainty on market.
- W&W’s Chairman of the Management Board Jürgen A. Junker: “The W&W Group is still operating well and has demonstrated its resilience in the face of massive pushback on the markets. We can still say that everything that is under our own control is going well.”
The Wüstenrot & Württembergische Group (W&W) continued the successful trajectory of its operating activities in the first six month of 2022. Despite the significant obstacles as a result of the rapid rise in inflation, the unusually dynamic interest rate reversal and the effects of loss events, the Group has further expanded its business and gained market share. Wüstenrot enjoyed strong growth in gross new home loan savings business and Württembergische in property/casualty insurance, thus experiencing the best new business ever in the first half of a year. Higher interest rates and the turbulence on the stock markets led to the remeasurement of capital investments in accordance with IFRS, thereby squeezing earnings. Nonetheless, consolidated net profit amounted to €96.0 million (same period of 2021: €196.2 million). For 2022 as a whole, the company is still striving for a consolidated net profit of around €250 million.
Jürgen A. Junker, Chairman of the Board of Management W&W AG: “Right now we are witnessing the robust and strategically structured resilience that we have worked for in recent years with our Group’s successful digital evolution. Customer proximity, innovation and a quick response to change are paying off. It is a key signal that our operational business is still progressing successfully. In view of the many external challenges and uncertainty, it is all the more significant that customers still have the utmost confidence in us. This is a major obligation for our future as well. We can still say that everything that is under our own control is progressing successfully and going well. At the same time, we are keeping our expenses under control. Thanks to our broad positioning, we can compensate for market set-backs as well, such as in life and health insurance, with strong growth in housing or property business. However, it is clear that business performance is subject to greater uncertainty than when the year began.”
New business performance in first half of 2022
In the insurance division, gross premiums in property/casualty insurance rose by 7.7 per cent as against the same period of the previous year to €1.52 billion for the first six months, again driven by strong business with corporate customers. Claims expenses increased as a result of higher claims for natural disasters following the winter storms and higher loss adjustment due to motoring returning to normal after the lifting of COVID restrictions. Nonetheless, the loss experience was still very good as compared to the last few years. The combined ratio rose to 85.5 per cent (H1 2021: 82.4 per cent). The Adam Riese digital brand continued its sales success. It had more than 300,000 customers as at the end of the first half of 2022.
Gross premiums in life and health insurance amounted to €1.14 billion in total (H1 2021: €1.33 billion). The drop of 14.3 per cent mainly relates to the active reduction of single premiums. Gross premiums in health insurance grew by 4.7 per cent to €148.7 million after €142 million in the same period of the previous year.
In housing business, Wüstenrot – the number two on the German market – achieved gross new business of €8.51 billion after €6.07 billion in the first half of 2021, equivalent to growth of 40.3 per cent and thereby outperforming the market. In particular, demand was stimulated by the sharp rise in energy prices and, as a result, the even greater appeal of energy-efficiency improvement in buildings. New construction financing business (including brokerage for third parties) likewise experienced strong growth of 18.0 per cent to €3.98 billion (H1 2021: €3.38 billion). The property activities of Wüstenrot Haus- und Städtebau and Wüstenrot Immobilien performed very well.
Outlook 2022 as a whole
The W&W Group is still striving for a consolidated net profit of around €250 million for 2022 as a whole. This assumes that the capital market will remain at a level similar to the first half of the year. It also assumes that there will not be any additional turbulence on the capital and financial markets or an economic downturn.
Nonetheless, this outlook is subject to greater uncertainty than when the financial year began. It is conditional on future economic, inflation and capital market developments, high uncertainty over the progression of the war in Ukraine, a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic and further claims, in particular for natural disasters.
Ludwigsburg, 12 August 2022
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.