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Zurich UK delivers strong financial results for 2018
- Earnings on a like for like basis up 143% to £260 million from £107 million in 2017
- Combined Ratio (CR) improves to 94.9% from 102.3% in 2017
- Life Annualised Premium Equivalent (APE) and New Business Value (NBV) up 10% and 17% respectively
- General Insurance Gross Written Premium (GWP) remained in line with 2017 following strong growth in target areas and a focus on technical profitability.
- Business Operating Profit (BOP) of £137 million, a like for like increase of 176% from the £50 million reported for 2017
- Gross Written Premium (GWP) of £2,386 million – slightly higher than the £2,377 million reported for 2017.
- Combined Ratio (CR) of 94.9%, a 7.4 point improvement on a like for like basis over 102.3% in 2017
- Business Operating Profit (BOP) of £123 million – an increase of 115% from the £57 million reported for 2017
- Annualised Premium Equivalent (APE) of £455 million is 10% higher than the £415 million in 2017 on a like for like basis
- New Business Value (NBV) of £55 million is 17% higher than the 2017 result of £47 million on a like for like basis. (2017 result including ZCS NBV was £75 million).
Commenting on the UK results, Zurich’s UK CEO Tulsi Naidu said: “Zurich has delivered a strong result in the UK and I’m very pleased with how the business has developed over the last 12 months. 2018 was a significant year in our transformation and it is gratifying to see the all-round improvement reflected in the results.
“This is the first step in our journey as we build a simpler, more digital business across both Life and GI” she said, “allowing us to offer excellent propositions and service to customers and intermediary partners.
“The whole company has delivered the financial results we see today and I want to thank the Zurich UK team for the fantastic effort. Our people are at the heart of our business and this result shows their skill, commitment and dedication. I would also like to thank our customers and intermediary partners for their ongoing support and confidence in us.”
2018 saw a solid foundation being laid for Zurich’s GI business with extensive improvements in claims and underwriting processes. New strategic centres were established, including the new SME hub in Leeds, and on-the-ground expertise across the country was increased – particularly in the north of the UK.
GWP of £2,386m is in line with 2017 with a combination of strong new business wins and high retention levels resulting in good growth in target areas across Commercial, SME and High Net Worth balancing targeted exits from certain parts of the portfolio. This targeted revenue growth, ongoing efficiency improvements and positive development of claims reserves have all contributed to a COR improvement to 94.9% balancing out the impact of tough commercial market conditions and some significant large loss events.
Commenting on the GI results, Naidu continues: “Whilst an operating profit of £137m and a 7 point improvement in the COR is a pleasing outcome in a very competitive market, I believe there is room for further improvement. Market conditions remain tough and the 2018 result includes the impact of some large loss events and so we continue to remain focused on technical profitability. That said, we have seen good growth in target areas, are investing in the talent and capabilities of our GI business and are feeling pretty confident about the future.”
Life & Savings
Life & Savings BOP of £123m is higher than 2017, an increase of the £66m reported a year ago which is a positive performance despite challenging financial markets. These figures also include the investment in our award-winning Life Protection Platform which has been well received by advisers and customers with a very beneficial impact on business volumes.
Commenting on the Life & Savings results Naidu continues: “The Life Protection Platform is a superb example of how we are systematically building capability. Advisers and customers demand choice, convenience and need 24/7 access - the platform offers just that.”
“The number of customers on our retail wealth platform also rose by more than 15% over the year and assets under administration likewise rose by 9%. Our presence in the longevity swaps market took a leap forward as well in 2018 with a £2bn deal with National Grid.”
Naidu concludes: “We are very pleased with the development of our UK business in 2018. We are investing in our people, in our digital capabilities and in new office locations - all of which will improve the service we offer. We are well placed competitively, have good momentum and look forward to continued progress in all areas of our business during 2019.”
1 Figures up 376% including Ogden impact -£94 million in 2017
2 Figures for 2017 were 110.9% including Ogden impact
3 Figures adjusted for the disposal of Zurich Corporate Savings in 2017
4 Figures for 2017 were (minus) -£151 million including Ogden impact
5 Figures for 2017 were 110.9% including Ogden impact
6 Figures including Zurich Corporate Savings annual premium equivalent of £946 million
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