25 years on the stock market – a success story
The IPO raised the capital for the successful expansion into Central and Eastern Europe. Shareholders have received a dividend each year without interruption – a total of around EUR 1.8 billion.
The Company – Wiener Städtische at the time – was first listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange on 17 October 1994. The start of a success story, on the one hand for the shareholders: the Group has paid dividends to its shareholders every year without interruption since its stock market listing 25 years ago and also for 2019 a dividend of EUR 1.15 will be proposed to the Annual General Meeting. On the other hand, the Company itself has benefited, as the IPO was closely connected with the successful CEE expansion, which also began in the early 1990s. 25 years of stock market listing have shown that sustainable profitable growth is best realised with strong capital resources. This was also confirmed by the Standard & Poor’s rating agency, which gave VIG Holding an A+ rating with stable outlook since 2005. That means VIG Holding has the best rating of all companies in the ATX.
Dividends even during the financial crisis
VIG Holding has also shown that a solid capital buffer and attractive dividend yield make a good combination. The dividend policy provides for a distribution in a range of 30% to 50% of the Group result after taxes and non-controlling interests. The Group has also shown reliability during economically difficult times, such as the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, when shareholders continued to receive dividends as in all the previous years since the initial listing. “Our goal is to continue aligning the dividend per share to the development of the company’s success”, according to General Manager Elisabeth Stadler. Günter Geyer, Chairman of the VIG Holding Supervisory Board today, who actively pursued both the expansion into the CEE region and the IPO, looks back positively: “The additional responsibility towards investors and analysts enriched our traditional corporate culture. Today, as back then, all stakeholders should be able to participate in the Group’s sustainable long-term growth.”
VIG shares 1994–2019
Stock exchange history at a glance
- The preferred shares of the Company – Wiener Städtische at the time – were listed for the first time on 17 October at an issuing price of 1,030 Austrian schillings (EUR 74.85) on the Vienna Stock Exchange*. The free float was 11% at that time.
* values without consideration of capital measures
- The major stock market offensive with the access to the international capital market began. The preferred shares were converted into ordinary shares with voting rights.
- The shares were included in the ATX in September.
- The first capital increase took place in December, with proceeds of around EUR 910 million. The free float increased to around 29%.
- From February onwards, the shares are traded under the name VIENNA INSURANCE GROUP AG Wiener Versicherung Gruppe.
- The shares were also listed on the Prague Stock Exchange in February.
- VIG Holding performed its second capital increase in May, with proceeds of EUR 1.1 billion. The proceeds funded the acquisition of Erste Group’s insurance business in Austria and CEE, and the newly concluded mutual distribution partnership.
- In August, the operative insurance business in Austria was separated from the holding functions of the Group. VIG Holding as the listed Group holding company focuses on management of the Group, international corporate business and reinsurance.
- Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein currently holds around 70% of VIG Holding’s 128 million ordinary shares, the free float amounts to around 30%. 25% of the investors are from Austria, 27% from the rest of continental Europe, 34% from North America, 12% from the United Kingdom and Ireland and 2% from other countries.