In 2011, Coface combined profitability and growth thanks to a steep rise in its turnover, stability in its claims ratio and good cost controlling measures.
Accelerated rise in turnover
Turnover from strategic entities rose significantly from 2010 to 2011 at the rate of 7.4% - higher than the average of 5% observed between 2006 and 2010. Insurance grew considerably (+7.1%), thanks to sustained commercial activity, a new record level of production (200 million euros) and a remarkable rate of customer loyalty (91% in 2011 versus 86% in 2010). Factoring in Germany and Poland, countries where Coface ranks respectively as number 1 and number 2 in the market, continues to surge (+11.8%) because of the strong synergies with credit insurance.
(in million euros)
The group's seven geographic platforms all contributed to this performance, with double-digit growth for the platforms which encompass emerging countries: Latin America (+11.4%), Asia Pacific (+12.4%) and Central Europe (+20.2%).
Stable loss ratio
The ratio of claims to premiums (net of reinsurance) was 57% in 2011, compared with 57.2% in 2010. The reversal that occurred in the business cycle in the second quarter of 2011 caused a major change in companies' payment behaviour with a tangible rise in non-payments (61% in H2 versus 55% in H1). For the entire year, Coface recorded a 27% upswing in payment incidents around the world, with a particularly pronounced jump (47%) for Southern European businesses.
Drop in cost ratio
The cost ratio (net of reinsurance) finished at 25.2%, an improvement of 2.5 points attributable in large to rigorous management of the Group's spending.
An improved combined ratio
The combined ratio (net of reinsurance) improved thanksto firm management of costs and risks.
Steep rise in net income
The Group's growth is profitable. Net current income grew by 21% over 2010 to reach 121 million euros in 2011.
Increasing financial soundness
The Group shareholders' equity reached 1,465 million euros, marking a rise of 5.7% compared with the end of 2010. This progress was accompanied by rapid debt reduction. Indeed, the rate of debt reduction was down to 1% at the end of 2011, versus 43% at the end of 2009. The ratings assigned to Coface by Fitch (AA- with a stable outlook) and Moody’s (A2 with a stable outlook) were confirmed, reflecting the Group's competitive positioning in the international credit insurance market. Furthermore, the Group is taking proactive measures to prepare for the future Solvency II regulations which will apply to all insurance companies in Europe in 2014. It aims to improve its performance by meeting the requirements of the reform, notably with regard to equity, risk management and reporting.
(01st june 2012)