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Insurer Sava ups profit by a third to nearly EUR 38m in Jan-Sep (adds)

Ljubljana, 22 November (STA) - The insurance group Sava reported on Friday a net profit of EUR 37.7 million for the first nine months of the year, a 29.3% year-on-year increase driven by high premium growth and improved cost-efficiency. Operating revenue was up 8.7% to EUR 427.5 million.

The group wrote EUR 471.1 million in non-life premiums, up 9.5% year on year, mostly on account of 10.9% growth in gross premiums written in the non-life insurance business in Slovenia and 20.3% growth in the non-life insurance business outside of Slovenia.

More moderate growth figures were recorded for the reinsurance business (3.6%), life insurance outside of Slovenia (7.4%) and life insurance in Slovenia (0.4%).

In the first three quarters of the year, Sava wrote 84.9% of its full-year premium target for 2019.

The company added the group's performance had also been bolstered by better cost-efficiency, with a 1.5-point year-on-year improvement in the expense ratio of insurance business, primarily reflecting faster growth in premiums over expenses.

Net claims incurred increased by 21% to almost EUR 287 million. "The net incurred loss ratio was somewhat larger than planned, mainly due to the impact of higher net claims incurred by the group's non-life insurers".

Primary insurance saw an increased claims burden in Croatia, where claims rose in motor third-party liability and in motor casco business, as well as owing to the integration of the Ergo non-life insurer into the group, the business reports says.

Sava said that in addition to achieving significant organic growth, it remained committed to its strategy of acquisitions-based growth.

In October 2019, Sava issued subordinated bonds worth a total of EUR 75 million, with a scheduled maturity of 2039. It said this would provide the group even more flexibility to pursue growth.

The total assets of the Sava group, which has a 2,500-strong workforce, stood at EUR 1.84 billion at the end of September, 8.1% more than at the end of 2018.

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