The net profit of French reinsurer SCOR at EUR 286 million in 2017 fell almost by 50 per cent from € 603 million in 2016 due to the cost of the nat cat events which occurred in the third and fourth quarters.
The reinsurer's gross written premiums reached EUR 14,789 million in 2017, up 8.6% at constant exchange rates compared to 2016 (+7.0% at current exchange rates).This growth is well balanced between the Life division (+8.5% at constant exchange rates), which has seen continued expansion in Asia-Pacific and Financial Solutions, and the P&C division (+8.8% at constant exchange rates), which has benefited in particular from continued development in the U.S, said release by SCOR..
Denis Kessler, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of SCOR, commented: "2017 was marked by an exceptional series of major natural catastrophes. SCOR successfully passed this real-life stress test, once again demonstrating the resilience of its business model and its shock-absorbing capacity. This confirms the relevance of our strategy based on a controlled risk appetite, an optimized risk composition, a balanced business model between Life and P&C reinsurance, and a robust capital shield through retrocession and ILS. The Group is fully mobilized to reach the strategic targets set out in "Vision in Action".
The net combined ratio in the Global P&C unit deteriorated to 103.7 percent from 93.1 percent over the period.
The combined ratio deterioration includes 14.9 points from natural catastrophes; 1.7 points on fourth quarter 2017 losses from wildfires in California (net impact of € 91 million), and 11.3 pts on the Harvey, Irma, Maria hurricanes and Mexican earthquakes (with a total net of retrocession pre-tax impact at year end marginally reduced from third quarter 2017 at €591 million.
The Group cost ratio is stable at 5.0% of gross written premiums, in line with the "Vision in Action" plan.SCOR Global Investments delivers a return on invested assets of 3.5%. The Group is well positioned to benefit from the current rising interest rate cycle.The annualised return on equity (ROE) for the year reaches 4.5%, or 380 bps above the risk-free rate. The normalized annualized return on equity stands at 10.1%, above the target of 800 bps above the 5-year risk-free rate.
SCOR Global P&C registers strong gross written premium growth in the upper end of the assumed range of the "Vision in Action" strategic plan. 2017 gross written premiums stand at EUR 6,025 million, growing by 8.8% at constant exchange rates compared to 2016 (+6.9% at current exchange rates). Growth is fueled by progress in the U.S., in line with "Vision in Action", and by Specialties.
SCOR Global Life continues to deepen its franchise, particularly in Asia-Pacific, while recording satisfactory profitability.