Financial result, result before taxes and cash flow

Financial result

A detailed disclosure of the financial result (excluding shares in at equity consolidated companies) is included in Note 16 Financial result excl. result from shares in at equity consolidated companies in the notes to the consolidated financial statements.

The financial result (incl. the result from shares in at equity consolidated companies) was EUR 1,010.8 million in 2019, representing a small decrease of 2.6% compared to the same period in the previous year.

Result before taxes

The Group result before taxes rose to EUR 521.6 million in 2019 (2018: EUR 485.4 million). The significant 7.4% increase in profits was due to an improvement in the combined ratio and a positive one-off effect from a refund of asset tax in Poland.

Cash flow

The cash flow from operating activities rose from EUR 1,061.6 million in 2018 to EUR 1,298.8 million in 2019 due to a significant increase in the premiums collected in combination with a smaller increase in claim payments. The cash flow from investing activities changed from EUR -850.5 million in 2018 to EUR -886.0 million in 2019, mainly due to investments in financial instruments available for sale, and investments for unit-linked and index-linked life insurance. Financing activities produced a cash flow of EUR -240.3 million in 2019 (2018: EUR -358.0 million). The positive change compared to the previous year was mainly due to the redemption of VIG Holding’s hybrid capital in 2018. The Group had cash and cash equivalents of EUR 1,443.4 million at the end of 2019 (2018: EUR 1,347.3 million). Interest and dividends were a total of EUR 822.3 million in 2019 (2018: EUR 834.8 million).