Swiss insurer Helvetia has posted a strong set of first half results as it finalises the takeover of Basler Austria and prepares to join forces with Nationale Suisse.
In the first half of 2014, Helvetia saw a 9.8 percent increase in profits to SFr196.9 million ($214.3 million), compared with SFr179.4 in the first half of 2013.
Its combined ratio improved to 93.6 percent, compared with 94.9 percent in the same period of the prior year. The insurer’s business volume grew by 1.3 percent (in original currency) to SFr4.8 billion.
The insurer said that the main driver for the increase in earnings for the period at group level was the result of the non-life business, which increased by 37.5 per cent to SFr103.1 million, based on solid technical results and a good investment result.
Helvetia also said its agreement to form a new insurance group with Nationale Suisse was proceeding according to plan.
Stefan Loacker, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Helvetia group, said: “The impressive 2014 interim results underscore Helvetia group’s successful performance. Profitable growth and a solid capital base create the best foundation to form a unique insurance group with Nationale Suisse with excellent prospects for success.”
Helvetia’s finalised takeover of Basler Austria will expand its volume in Austria by more than 50 percent and its premium volume of approximately €400 million.
From October 1, 2014, Otmar Bodner, previously CEO of Basler Austria, will serve as the new chairman of the executive board. He will succeed Burkhard Gantenbein, who had already decided in late 2013 to leave Helvetia in the course of the second half of 2014.
Helvetia, Second Quarter 2014 Results, Basler Austria, Nationale Suisse, Europe