W&W Group maintains successful operating business trajectory
- Good 9M consolidated earnings of €160.2 million despite high market volatility and negative accounting valuation effects due to IFRS.
- Strongest new home loan and savings business figure in company history – Wüstenrot far outperforms the market.
- Further upturn in new business and higher premiums in property/casualty insurance.
- Measurement effects under IFRS accounting depress net income due to turbulence on financial and capital markets.
- W&W’s Chairman of the Board of Management Jürgen A. Junker: “Customer proximity, innovation, financial resilience and cost discipline are strengths that help the W&W Group remain successful despite the crisis in the market environment. Our Group can weather the storm.”
The Wüstenrot & Württembergische Group (W&W) further expanded its operating activities in the first nine months of 2022 and increased its market share, despite the unfavourable and highly-volatile market environment. The home loan savings business performed particularly well. The Wüstenrot home loan and savings bank achieved its best gross new business for a nine-month period in its company’s history. Württembergische Versicherung’s property/casualty insurance also saw substantial premiums growth. The W&W Group is generating growth here with high cost discipline: at just 2.0 per cent, the increase in general administrative expenses in the Group was far lower than the inflation rate in Germany. The still successful operating business performance was offset by negative effects on the balance sheet of the valuation of capital investments due to the interest rate reversal and the war in Ukraine. These factors resulted in substantial price drops on equities markets. The valuation and, in turn, the recognition of market fluctuations is mandatory under IFRS accounting rules. Nevertheless, it does not reflect the success of operating activities. Consolidated net profit from January to September of this year came to €160.2 million (same period of 2021: €236.9 million). The company considers the previous forecast level achievable for 2022 as a whole, although it notes high levels of uncertainty on capital and financial markets and the risks posed by the start of an economic downturn in Germany.
Jürgen A. Junker, Chairman of the Board of Management at W&W AG: “The economic environment is difficult for all companies. It is good that, in our shift towards greater digitalisation, customer proximity and innovation that we started several years ago, we have always kept an eye on financial resilience and cost discipline. These strengths help the W&W Group remain successful despite the crisis in the market environment. We can be more than satisfied with what our Group has achieved in the first nine months. We are continuing to bring in new customers and increase our market share, and still have costs under control despite high inflation, the sharp rise in energy prices and more claims settlement. In addition, we are driving the digital transformation with new products and offers. We are essentially confident about the rest of 2022, although we will have to very closely monitor developments on the capital and financial markets, recessionary trends in Germany and further claims. In this environment, it would be unwise to issue precise forward-looking statements for 2022 and beyond. What is important is that our company can weather the storm and is stable and well positioned for the future even at this difficult time.”
New business performance in first nine months of 2022
In the insurance division, gross premiums in property/casualty insurance rose by 6.8 per cent as against the same period of the previous year to €1.97 billion for the first nine months of 2022, driven primarily by lively business with corporate customers (19.1 per cent). Motor and retail customer areas also picked up. The Adam Riese digital brand continued its sales success. When compared over several years, the claims experience was still very good. The combined ratio was 84.4 per cent, versus 88.8 per cent in the first nine months of 2021. It should be noted here that the previous year period experienced high natural disasters due to summer flooding in Germany.
Gross premiums written in life and health insurance rose to a total of €1.62 billion after €1.89 billion in the first nine months of 2021. The decline is essentially due to actively reducing single premiums in life insurance, which were still expanded considerably in the previous year. Health insurance grew gross premiums by 4.7 per cent to €222.2 million between January and September.
In the housing business, Wüstenrot boosted gross new business from €8.61 billion to €13.83 billion in the first three quarters of this year – an upturn of 60.6 per cent, significantly outperforming the market and higher than the increase for the first half of the year (up 40.3 per cent). Demand was bolstered as home loan and savings became increasingly important as an interest rate hedging tool for financial backers and potential buyers and modernizers given the sharp rise in mortgage interest rates.
New construction financing business (including brokerage for third parties) likewise rose by 7.0 per cent to €5.28 billion (9M 2021: €4.94 billion), outperforming the market. Higher demand for energy-efficiency improvements, driven by high energy prices, particularly boosted new business.
Outlook for 2022 as a whole
Current environmental conditions are prompting highly volatile measurement gains and losses in the W&W Group’s IFRS income statement. Nevertheless, it is standing by its previous guidance for consolidated net profit.
However, this guidance is subject to high levels of uncertainty, stemming primarily from current developments on capital and financial markets and potential economic slumps. Unforeseen, major loss events would have a negative impact on the guidance.
Ludwigsburg, 11. November 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.