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Zurich UK reports strong full-year results: 59% rise in profits and growth in premiums

13 February 2020


Zurich UK today announces its full-year results for the period ended December 2019, making a strong contribution to the Zurich Group results announced earlier today.

Zurich UK

  • Earnings up 59% to £413 million from £260 million in 2018
  • Combined Ratio (CR) improves to 91% from 94.9% in 2018
  • General Insurance Gross Written Premium (GWP) increases 4% to £2,480 million from £2,386 million in 2018
  • Life and Savings Protection Annual Premium Equivalent (APE) increases to £114.9 million, a 25% increase on the prior year

General Insurance 

  • Business Operating Profit (BOP) of £271 million, an increase of 97% from the £137 million reported for 2018
  • Gross Written Premium (GWP) is up 4% to £2,480 million from £2,386 million in 2018
  • Combined Ratio (CR) of 91%, a 3.9 percentage point (ppt) improvement over 94.9% in 2018

Life & Savings

  • Business Operating Profit of £142 million is 15% ahead of the £123 million reported for 2018
  • Retail protection APE increased by 17%
  • Life and Savings Protection New Business Value (NBV) increased to £42.2 million, a 46% increase on the prior year

Commenting on the UK results, Zurich’s UK CEO Tulsi Naidu, said:

“Zurich UK has delivered an excellent performance in 2019, contributing strongly to Zurich’s overall global results. Earnings have increased by 59% to £413 million, with a doubling of operating profits in General Insurance and robust growth in Life and Savings. This strong performance has been driven by our strategic repositioning in the UK. Over the last three years, we have simplified the business, and enhanced our products, technical capability and customer service. We are now a stronger, more focused and customer-centric business, and this is paying off with improvement across all our key financial and strategic measures.

“I am very proud that we have achieved this shift in performance by creating a progressive and inclusive workplace, and being engaged with the communities we operate in.Today, we look forward to the future with confidence.  We have a clear strategy, are committed to our customers, distributors and the communities we operate in, and will continue to build Zurich’s business in the UK.”

Life & Savings

Life & Savings (L&S) profits grew 15%, supported by the continued success of the retail protection proposition. Life and Savings Protection APE rose to £114.9 million, an increase of 25% on the prior year, with retail protection posting a 17% increase in APE. It was pleasing to see the Corporate Risk business contribute to the strong L&S result. Group life protection delivered a 9% increase customers, and now protects 1.7 million UK workers through its expanding range of flexible products. Group income protection also achieved an 11% customer increase, and remains a leader in helping businesses to manage employee health and wellbeing.

Commenting on the Life & Savings results, Tulsi Naidu said:

“Our Life & Savings results are solid and have been driven by the continued success of the retail protection proposition, which has transformed our standing in the sector. Our products – which allow customers to adapt their benefits and cover at different life stages, and which reflect the range of complex, real world situations people now face - have fuelled a 17% rise in retail protection sales. As a result, we welcomed 100,000 new retail protection customers on our platform. Going forward, we will continue to make it easy for advisers and customers to do business with us. We will also focus on sustaining our outstanding claims record, which shows how we are there for people at what is often the most difficult time in their life.”

People and communities

In 2019, Zurich UK took a number of important steps to support Zurich Group’s commitment to be among the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. We began advertising all jobs as capable of part-time, job share and “flex” work, resulting in an immediate 25% rise in female applications. The Company also launched a new suite of ‘family friendly’ people policies, including 16 weeks equalised parental leave for all parents, and support for carers and those going through IVF and bereavement.

We supported over 500 charities in the UK in 2019 with over 4,000 days of volunteering in the community by Zurich employees and committed nearly £2m in funds; delivered our Youth Skills Programme to over 2,300 school pupils, having now reached more than 4,900 students since 2016; every building where we control the account is now powered by green electricity; we are on track to remove single use plastic in the UK business by the end of 2020; and we planted more than 20,000 trees in 2019 to support reforestation and decarbonisation.

-Ends-

Editors’ notes

For further information, please contact:

Chris Johnson
Zurich UK Media Relations
chris.1.johnson@uk.zurich.com
07812 265245

Zurich in the UK

Zurich UK provides a suite of general insurance and life insurance products to retail and corporate customers. We supply personal, commercial and local authority insurance through a number of distribution channels, and offer a range of protection, retirement and savings policies available online and through financial intermediaries for the retail market and via employee benefit consultants for the corporate market. Based in a number of locations across the UK - with large sites in Birmingham, Farnborough, Leeds, Glasgow, London, Swindon and Whiteley - Zurich employs approximately 4,500 people in the UK. Further information about Zurich UK is available at www.zurich.co.uk

Zurich Globally

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 55,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 215 countries and territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at www.zurich.com.