Expertise and experience, coupled with a strong focus on our core insurance business and on the Austria and CEE region –
all this makes Vienna Insurance Group a reliable partner you can count on. And financially speaking as well, because long-term, profitable growth is a leading priority for VIG – today, tomorrow and in the future.
You can count on us
Dependable and financially sound
Experience and expertise
Vienna Insurance Group promises to protect what matters to its customers. Our Group is synonymous with stability and expertise in providing financial protection against risks. A strong, dependable, long-term partner.
And what could be a more convincing statement of our reliability and long-standing commitment than a history stretching back decades, and our 30 years of success in CEE? The roots of our Group go back to 1824. This wealth of experience, coupled with a focus on our core competence of providing insurance coverage, forms a solid and secure basis for the Group’s 22 million-plus customers. And it shows that we can adapt rapidly to market circumstances.
Focus on profitable growth
We always have an eye on the future. Our strategy is geared towards sustained growth and profitability. The insurance business and a regional focus on Austria and the growth Central and Eastern European market lie at the heart of the Group’s strategy.
And this has proved its worth: the Group’s results have improved constantly in the past four years. In 2019, premium income passed the EUR 10bn mark for the first time, and the Group reported a pre-tax profit of well over EUR 500m.
Strong finances and an excellent credit rating
A solid capital base provides the best possible foundations for sustainable, profitable growth. But we also manage risk carefully – at the end of 2019, the Group’s solvency ratio stood at 210%. This strong capital base is also one of the factors highlighted by rating agency Standard & Poor’s. Vienna Insurance Group has had an A+ rating with stable outlook from the agency since 2005 – the best rating of any company on the Austria ATX stock index.
Outstanding 2019 results
Steady dividends for more than 25 years
Vienna Insurance Group is listed in both Vienna and Prague. Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein – a stable core shareholder with a long-term focus – owns around 70% of VIG’s shares. The remaining shares are in free float.
VIG shares have always been an attractive option for long-term investors – the company has distributed a dividend every year since it was listed on the stock market in 1994. Dividend distributions to 2019 totalled around EUR 1.8 billion.
The dividend policy, which was reviewed in 2019, provides for a shareholder dividend of 30-50% of consolidated profit after tax. This long-term dividend policy is backed up by a range of measures aimed at improving earnings and cost effectiveness. As a result, the Group is ideally placed to act as a dependable partner – not only today, but also tomorrow and in the future.
We aim to be a reliable and stable partner.Elisabeth Stadler, CEO
Keeping fit for the future
Our strategic work programme
Vienna Insurance Group has responded to the challenges currently facing the insurance industry by formulating a comprehensive strategic work programme. It is aimed at capitalising on opportunities that are opening up in a changing world, with a view to improving the Group’s performance for the good of its partners and customers. The programme has three main priorities:
Ensuring future viability
Here, we focus on the future, and on taking advantage of potential and opportunities opened up by demographic, technological and social trends and developments. It is also a matter of intensifying operations in particularly promising businesses.
Business model optimisation
The emphasis here is on cost effectiveness. This involves leveraging synergies created by integrating back-office functions and merging insurance companies, as well as measures aimed at increasing profitability.
Organisation and cooperation
The focal point in this regard is Group-wide collaboration between the insurance companies and the effective management of the Group.
Our focus is on capitalising on profitable market potential, and on those areas that will ensure our ability to meet future challenges, as well as optimising our business model in order to boost cost effectiveness. We are implementing a raft of measures in cooperation with the local management teams at our insurance companies. We believe this is vital to maintaining our stability and continued growth.Managing Board member Gábor Lehel
The highlights on our agenda
- Driving growth in the bancassurance business
- Growth in health insurance
- Establishing new Group assistance service companies and expanding existing ones
- Growing the reinsurance business
- Strengthening the corporate/SME business
- Implementing innovation and digitalisation initiatives
30 years in CEE
From first mover to market leader
Vienna Insurance Group was one of the first Western insurance companies to move into Eastern Europe following the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1990. Since then, the Group has gradually expanded into new markets, most recently Northern Europe in 2019. Over the past 30 years we have grown to become the leading insurance group in Austria and CEE. We are ranked number one or among the top five in the majority of the markets where we have a presence.
Austria, Baltics, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, North Macedonia, Slovakia
Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Poland, Serbia, Ukraine
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Belarus, Montenegro, Slovenia, Turkey
Status: Q4 2019
We came to stay
VIG generates over half of its premiums and profit in CEE
Vienna Insurance Group focuses on Central and Eastern Europe, and it pursues a long-term strategy in the markets where it is represented. It was not only important that VIG was one of the first insurers to take advantage of the opening of the Eastern bloc; it was also a great decision. CEE now accounts for more than half of our premium income and pre-tax profit. We still see scope for considerable growth in the region. In spite of fluctuations in economic activity across Europe and one-off events, average economic growth in the CEE countries is generally twice that of the EU-15 member states (the EU members before the Eastern enlargement in 2004). The continuing economic upturn is leading to higher living standards as well as increased demand for insurance, so there is strong potential as far as insurance is concerned. People in Ukraine spend an average of around EUR 35 a year on insurance, and people in Poland about EUR 370 – but in the EU-15 countries the figure is more than EUR 2,700.
Steady increase in proportion of premiums and profit accounted for by CEE
Non-CEE: Austria, Germany and Liechtenstein
Our compass is still pointing eastwardsElisabeth Stadler
CEO Elisabeth Stadler on VIG’s growth strategy
Why is the Group so successful in Central and Eastern Europe?
Firstly, because we took advantage of the opportunity to expand into this up-and-coming region early on. And second, we’ve implemented a long-term, customer-focused strategy in the various markets. With the exception of Russia, we’ve never left any of the markets that we’ve moved into. We invest for the long term and make a valuable contribution to the positive development of the insurance markets in which we operate. Thirdly, it’s down to our broad spread and diversification, which enables us to capitalise on every opportunity while spreading risk at the same time.
How will the Group continue to grow, and where?
Our compass is still clearly pointing eastwards, but we will also capitalise on specific new business opportunities that present themselves, as was the case in Northern Europe. In other words, we always look to exploit growth opportunities. But CEE will remain our primary focus. We still see enormous growth potential there.
What criteria do you use to pinpoint opportunities for growth?
Among all of the factors we look at, profitability has to be the main consideration. We steer clear of moves that won’t pay off. We take steps that allow us to benefit from solid economic data, and achieve success and profitability in the long run on account of the long-term perspective we adopt. We continually assess options for acquisitions on the market. The opportunities we look at don’t always meet our requirements and we make acquisitions when they’re financially viable and make financial sense.
What is your strategy for positioning the Group?
Our overriding aim is to position ourselves as a reliable, stable partner. Our results, among other things, show that we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve exceeded our targets every year since 2016. Thinking in terms of generations and addressing their different needs, and keeping our promise to support our customers whenever they need us have long shaped our core business. So forward-looking management and profitable growth are essential for the Group’s stability in the long run.