Achmea posts operational result of €630 million
Solid performance in exceptional circumstances
- Premium growth in Non-Life and International activities, Assets under management increased by 41% to €227 billion.
- Strategy of digitisation and the efforts from employees result in continued high level of services to customers.
- Robust solvency ratio of 208% and sound liquidity position.
- Increased result at Non-Life; combined ratio improved to 92.9%.
- Result Pension & Life affected by impact Covid-19 on financial markets.
- Result in Health on balance positive because of:
- Increased cost for hospitals related to Covid-19 and €1 billion continuity contribution to health care.
- Government contribution under the catastrophe scheme and decrease regular, elective care.
- In line with our cooperative identity, we delivered broad social value added.
Willem van Duin, Chairman of Achmea’s Executive Board
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to challenges society and the end is unfortunately still some way off. The pandemic is affecting everyone, prompting us to adapt quickly to a new reality containing uncertainties about work, health and social contacts. The necessary restrictions have placed a great strain on what was viewed as normal until recently. And yet it was also a year of hope. Society as a whole turns out to be resilient and the importance of solidarity is once more clear. The same goes for our 14,000 employees who, working from home, have continued wholeheartedly with our mission: to contribute to a healthy, safe and future-proof society.
Our cooperative identity forms the basis for a range of initiatives. We called on the pharmaceutical industry to collaborate closely in the fight against Covid-19. In the Netherlands, health insurer Zilveren Kruis contributed about €1 billion to guarantee continuity of healthcare services and colleagues with a background in health care are able to help out at healthcare services.
Despite the challenging circumstances we realised growth in among others premiums and income in a number of strategically important areas. Last year, our Centraal Beheer, Interpolis and FBTO brands welcomed a large number of new customers who opted for the best online service. Our strategy of far-reaching digitisation results in, next to a high appreciation of our customers, in an increase in premiums both in the retail and the commercial market. In our international business we also focus on online service to our customers which last year led to an overall growth in premium income at Non-Life of 4%.
Last year the Centraal Beheer General Pension Fund (APF) continued its strong growth thanks to the confidence and accession of anumber of new employers and pension funds. Centraal Beheer APF is one of the largest APF’s by Assets under management and marketleader measured by the number of pension funds, employers and (active) participants. In 2020 Achmea Pension Services has attracted two major new clients: the Ahold Delhaize company pension fund and the sectoral pension fund for general practitioners. Both funds will join starting from 1 January 2022. In addition, together with pension fund PGB, the service provider In Admin Riskco has been acquired with which we will set up a new platform for the pension of the future. This more than compensates the expected decline of premium income at Pension & Life, leading to an overall growth in premium income in 2020.
Our assets under management have increased to €227 billion, partly thanks to an in increase in the number of customers for Achmea Investment Management. This was further supported by positive returns for our customers despite the turbulence in the financial markets. The assets under management in real estate and mortgages increased to €37 billion, partly driven by an expansion of existing mandates of customers.
Despite the enormous impact of Covid-19, we succeeded in earning solid annual results over 2020. Almost all the segments achieved revenue growth, in which respect we are profiting from earlier strategic decisions and investments in digitisation and online services.Due to the wide range of our services, the pandemic has had an impact on our results in a variety of ways.
At Health, based on the current insights, a contribution from the statutory catastrophe scheme has more than compensated for the higher Covid-19-related expenses and continuity contributions. In combination with a lower demand for regular healthcare, this has led to a higher result and higher reserves. In setting the premiums for 2021 Achmea used €136 million from the reserves in order to reduce the increase in health insurance premiums. We will also consider allocating capital to curb increases in premiums each time we set health premiums in future years.
At Non-Life claims have increased for e.g. event and cancellation insurance. This is offset by lower claims relating to mobility and home insurance. Overall this leads to a lower cost of claims and - on top of further operational improvements - a higher result. Simultaneously we lowered our operational expenses by 2% and also declined the number of fte in The Netherlands. Our investment results declined due to the uncertainty on the financial markets in the first half of last year in particular. However, owing to our consistently robust solvency ratio of 208% we continue to be a solid partner for the future for our customers and partners.
The solid performance and growth during 2020 lay the foundation for further growth and the continuation of the important social role of Achmea for customer and society. A role that will be continued after I have put down my role as Chairman of the Executive Board in April 2021. After serving seventeen years on the Executive Board, twelve of which as Chairman, I will hand over my role to BiancaTetteroo, the current Vice-Chair. I have full confidence in her as a very professional, competent and above all engaged executive. An appointment which fulfils me with pride and which moreover arises from the own organisation.
During the next General Meeting on 13 April the Chairman of the Supervisory Board Aad Veenman and Supervisory Board member Mijntje Lückerath will also step down at the end of their term. Jan van den Berg will succeed Aad Veenman as chairman Chairman of the Supervisory Board as of that date. Veenman has been a member of the Supervisory Board of Achmea for twelve years and Chairman for the past four and a half years. Achmea is extremely grateful to Aad Veenman for his major contribution during the past twelve years. As a supervisory director he has dedicated much time, energy and commitment to our cooperative group. Mijntje Lückerath has been connected with Achmea for ten years as a member of the Supervisory Board. We are very grateful for her valuable contribution during these many years. On behalf of the Executive Board, I wish them both every success in the future.
With the appointments of Bianca Tetteroo and Jan van den Berg the continuity of leadership is more than secured and places the management of Achmea in very good hands. Achmea is committed to be of value for customer and society as can be expected from a company with a cooperative identity. In cooperation with our customers, colleagues, partners and providers of capital Achmea commits to a healthy, safe and future-proof society. Now and in the future."