First quarter 2016: Record performance in yet another benign winter quarter

The Gjensidige Insurance Group recorded a profit before tax of NOK 1,608.9 million (987.3) in the first quarter. The profit from general insurance operations measured by the underwriting result was NOK 1,250.7 million (416.5), corresponding to a combined ratio of 77.3 (91.9). Adjusted for a non-recurring income of NOK 476.6 million due to changes in a pension plan, the underwriting result was NOK 774.1 million. This corresponds to a combined ratio of 86.0. This was a best-ever first quarter underwriting result.

"We are very pleased with a good start to the year. The results are driven by solid growth in premiums, cost efficient operations, and good control of risk selection and risk pricing," says CEO Helge Leiro Baastad.

The return on financial assets was 0.6 per cent (0.9), or NOK 323.8 million (520.9). The profit after tax expense was NOK 1,108.9 million (748.1), corresponding to NOK 2.22 (1.50) per share.

The underwriting result was positively influenced by a solid premium growth of 7.7 per cent compared with the corresponding quarter last year and a strong underlying frequency claims development. The result also reflects continued good control of customer and risk selection and risk pricing. Profitability in the quarter was better, however, than can normally be expected in a first quarter, mainly due to the favourable weather situation. The storm Tor in Norway in January had a negative effect of NOK 68 million on claims incurred. Total large losses were below both what is normally expected and the level in the same quarter last year. In addition, run-off gains contributed to the strong result and were at a somewhat higher level than the expected run-rate over the next few years.

The Retail Bank’s profit performance in the quarter was stable. The profit performance in Pension and Savings was positive due to higher net investment income.

The return on financial assets was negatively impacted by a negative return on cyclical assets and, in particular, on the Private Equity portfolio.

Highlights first quarter 2016 (first quarter 2015):

  • Profit/loss before tax: NOK 1,608.9 million (987.3)
  • Profit per share: NOK 2.22 (1.50)
  • Earned premiums: NOK 5,514.0 million (5,119.2)
  • Underwriting result: NOK 1,250.7 million (416.5)
  • Combined ratio: 77.3 (91.9)
  • Cost ratio: 6.6 (15.0)
  • Financial result: NOK 323.8 million (520.9)

Special factors and events

  • A change in the defined benefit pension plan had a non-recurring positive effect on the underwriting result of NOK 476.6 million. Adjusted for this, the combined ratio was 86.0 and the cost ratio was 15.3 in the quarter.
  • The Natural Perils Fund was approved as Tier 2 solvency capital.
  • Dividend for 2015 was paid on 19 April 2016: NOK 4,200 million, corresponding to NOK 8.40 per share.

This information is subject to disclosure under the Norwegian Securities Act section §5-12.

Head of Information Øystein Thoresen. Tel: 47 952 33 382
IR director Janne Merete Flessum Tel:  47 915 14 739
IR officer Anette Bolstad Tel: 47 416 77 722

Gjensidige is a leading Nordic insurance group listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. We have about 3,900 employees and offer insurance products in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Baltic states. In Norway, we also offer banking, pension and savings. Operating income was NOK 24 billion in 2015, while total assets were NOK 129 billion.

About Us

Gjensidige is one of the leading players in the Nordic general insurance market. The group offers general insurance products in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the three Baltic countries. In addition the group offers online retail banking, pension and savings products and health care services in Norway. Gjensidige is one of Norway’s most well-known brands. Both the company logo and the Watchman have a high recognition factor. The roots of the general insurance operations can be traced back to the 1820s, while the Watchman has been an insurance trademark for more than 75 years. 2007 and 2008 saw the launch of the Watchman logo in the other countries where Gjensidige offers insurance products. The group’s health services has been branded Hjelp24.