The French reinsurer SCOR has delivered a disciplined growth in the first half of 2018 through development of the Life franchise in Asia-Pacific and financial solutions, and successful P&C renewals with continued price and volume improvements.
The H1 2018 normalized net combined ratio of the company is at 95.1 per cent.
The Group’s net income reaches EUR 262 million for H1 2018. The annualized return on equity (ROE) is 8.8 per dent, 804 bps above the 5-year risk-free-rate. Excluding the impact of U.S. tax reform of USD 75 million (EUR 62 million), net income would be EUR 324 million, which would be an increase of 11.0 per dent compared to H1 2017, and the ROE would be 10.9per dent, demonstrating the strong core earnings of the Group.
SCOR Global P&C gross written premiums were up 4.9 year on year at €3.03 billion at constant exchange rates, driven by the US market. At current exchange rates, however, they fell 3 percent year on year.
The reinsurer’s gross written premiums total EUR 7,537 million, up 8.2 per cent at constant FX compared to H1 2017 resulting from growth in both Life and P&C, which are up 10.5 per dent and 4.9 per cemt respectively at constant FX compared to H1 2017.
Denis Kessler, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of SCOR, commented: "SCOR delivers strong results in the first six months of 2018, outperforming both its profitability and solvency targets. The Group continues to deliver disciplined and profitable growth, with both the Life and P&C divisions expanding their footprints in targeted territories and business lines and delivering robust technical profitability.''
The technical results of the company are strong, with a superior 91.4 per cent P&C net combined ratio and a robust 6.9 per ent Life technical margin, and a return on invested assets of 2.5 per cent driven by a continuing increase in the income yield.
The estimated solvency ratio is strong, standing at 221 per cent at June 30, 2018, marginally above the optimal range of 185 per cent – 220 per cent defined in the "Vision in Action" plan.
The strong net combined ratio at 91.4per cent is driven by:
-Below average natural catastrophe losses at 2.3 per cent of premiums year-to-date price (YTD), mostly from Q1 2018 events. Q2 events are low at 2.8 per cent of premiums and were further offset by HIMM improvement, resulting in a Q2 QTD cat ratio of 0.7 per cent.
-The net attritional loss and commission ratio is 81.6 per cent versus 84.7 per cent in H1 2017. Q2 2018 saw man-made large loss activity offsetting low losses in Q1;
-The expense ratio of 7.4 per cent reflects the increasing weight of insurance business and the extended perimeter of retrocession.
At the June-July renewals, SCOR Global P&C grew its book in line with "Vision in Action", with YTD renewed premiums up 7.8%. The top end of the "Vision in Action" projected growth range of 3-8 per cent assumed that pricing would improve moderately, which has indeed been observed. YTD price improvement is +2.9%, and June-July pricing is up 2.3%.
The June-July renewal is approximately 10 per cent of SCOR Global P&C's book, roughly 95 per cent of which is now renewed for 2018. Renewed premiums in June-July are up by 22.7 per cent at constant exchange rates to EUR 605 million.
This growth was partially driven by winning increased shares in U.S. Treaty and Credit & Surety reinsurance. SCOR Global P&C continues to be underweight on Florida specialist accounts, where pricing has been particularly weak for several consecutive years and did not materially improve following HIMM.