The Remaining CEE segment includes the countries Albania incl. Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine. The Remaining CEE markets generated 4.4% of Group premiums in 2019. The companies in Montenegro and Belarus were not included in the scope of consolidation.
Albania including Kosovo
Premium volume in Albania rose 3.1% in local currency terms in the first three quarters of 2019, with both the non-life and life lines of business contributing to the increase. The Albanian insurance market is dominated by the non-life sector, which represents 93.0% of the market. In addition to the strong growth of 10.7% recorded for motor own damage insurance in this sector, a moderate increase of 4.5% was also recorded for motor third party liability insurance. The non-motor lines of business recorded a drop of 3.1% compared to the same period in the previous year. The life insurance sector recorded an 8.5% increase in premium volume in the 1st to 3rd quarters of 2019. The premium volume in Kosovo rose 8.0% year-on-year in the 1st to 3rd quarters of 2019.
The VIG insurance companies Sigma Interalbanian and Intersig operate in the Albanian insurance market. They occupy the second place in the market, with a market share of 23.5%. Sigma Interalbanian is also represented by a branch in Kosovo.
Premiums increased 6.7% in local currency terms in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the first two quarters of 2019. Non-life insurance recorded a year-on-year increase of 5.8%. The 10.0% double-digit growth in life insurance was particularly satisfying. The motor lines of business that dominate the non-life sector also recorded gains. Motor own damage grew 12.5% and motor third party liability increased 4.6%.
The Group is represented in Bosnia-Herzegovina by the insurance companies Wiener Osiguranje, which has its headquarters in Banja Luka in the Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Vienna osiguranje, which is headquartered in Sarajevo. The market share was 8.9% based on data from the 1st half of 2019, which puts the VIG insurance companies in fourth place in the market.
The Croatian insurance market grew 7.5% in local currency terms in the first three quarters of 2019. Non-life premium volume rose 11.6% year-on-year. Motor own damage insurance (+20.5%) and health insurance (+16.7%) played a major role in this increase. Motor third party liability (+5.4%) and accident and fire insurance (+5.0% and +5.4%) also recorded increases. Life insurance premiums declined slightly by 1.3%, mainly due to decreases in index-linked and unit-linked products and annuity insurance.
The VIG insurance company Wiener Osiguranje operates in Croatia. Its market share of 9.0% in the 1st to 3rd quarters of 2019 put it in fourth place in the Croatian insurance market.
Premiums in the North Macedonia insurance market rose 7.2% in local currency terms in the first three quarters of 2019. Non-life insurance dominates the overall market with a share of around 84.4%. It recorded an increase of 6.2% in the first nine months of 2019, driven by growth in motor third party liability (+6.0%) and motor own damage insurance (+5.4%) as well as in the non-motor lines of business (+6.7%). Life insurance continued the double-digit growth recorded in previous years with a 12.8% increase in premium volume in the first nine months of 2019.
The VIG insurance companies Makedonija Osiguruvanje, Winner Non-Life and Winner Life together hold a market share of 20.0%. That makes the VIG companies the leading insurance group in North Macedonia.
The Moldovan insurance market recorded significant growth of 11.5% in local currency terms during the 1st to 3rd quarters of 2019. The non-life sector, whose 94.3% share dominates the overall portfolio, recorded a respectable 12.1% year-on-year increase. Life insurance recorded an increase of 2.4%. The non-motor lines of business grew particularly strongly in the first nine months, recording an impressive gain of 45.3%. While motor third party liability decreased 4.3%, motor own damage insurance rose 13.8%.
The VIG insurance company Donaris operates in Moldova. Its market share is 13.5% which puts it in second place in the market. It holds first place in the non-life sector.
Premium volume for the insurance companies operating in Serbia rose 5.9% based on the local currency in the first three quarters of 2019. This growth was mainly due to the positive performance achieved in the non-life sector (+6.4%), which represents around 78% of the overall portfolio. The growth in non-life insurance was due to contributions from both the non-motor lines of business, which saw premium volume rise 6.8% year-on-year, and motor lines of business (motor third party liability +4.1%, motor own damage +13.3%). Life insurance recorded an increase of 4.5% in the 1st to 3rd quarters of 2019. Health insurance also achieved double-digit growth of 29.4%.
The VIG insurance company Wiener Städtische Osiguranje operates in Serbia. It holds fourth place in the overall market with a market share of 11.4%, and second place in life insurance.
Around one quarter of the premium volume published in the Ukrainian market statistics in the first nine months of 2019 concerns reinsurance business between the insurance companies. When adjusted for these transactions, direct premium volume recorded strong year-on-year growth of 23.0% in local currency terms. The Ukrainian insurance market is clearly dominated by the non-life sector, which represents around 89% of the market. It grew 23.3% in the first three quarters of 2019, which is due, among other things, to an increase in mandatory motor third party liability insurance (+10.2%) and so-called “Green Card” policies (+32.6%). The premium volume generated in the life sector also rose significantly by 20.2%. At 11%, however, the share of total premium volume generated by life insurance remains modest.
The Group is represented in Ukraine by the non-life insurers Globus, Kniazha and UIG, and the life insurer Kniazha Life. Globus was merged with UIG and the merger is expected to be concluded in 2020. The VIG insurance companies hold second place in the overall market, with a market share of 6.9%. They are in first place in the non-life sector and seventh place in the life sector.
Financial performance indicators in the Remaining CEE segment
The VIG insurance companies in the Remaining CEE segment wrote EUR 446.9 million in premiums in 2019 (2018: EUR 374.7 million). The year-on-year increase of 19.3% was due to generally positive performance in all lines of business, especially in Ukraine, which recorded impressive growth rates in motor third party liability, other property and casualty and health insurance. Serbia also saw an increase in premiums, for both other property and casualty insurance and single-premium life insurance. Net earned premiums were EUR 328.8 million in 2019 (2018: EUR 285.7 million), an increase of 15.1% compared to the previous year.
Result before taxes
The result before taxes rose to EUR 27.1 million in 2019, mainly due to an improvement in the combined ratio (2018: EUR 23.5 million).
Ukraine recorded a particularly large increase in its result in 2019, and large increases were also recorded in Serbia and Croatia.
The combined ratio improved to 93.9% in 2019, primarily due to positive effects from motor third party liability in Ukraine, Serbia and North Macedonia and growth in other property and casualty insurance in Croatia (2018: 96.6%).