Top 100 See - - Front Page - By Emiliya Atanasova

When in­sur­ance com­pa­nies in South­east Europe toasted the ar­rival of 2011, the gen­eral mood was one of cau­tion for the im­me­di­ate fu­ture and be­lief in the in­dus­try’s longer-term prospects.

SEE in­sur­ers had just left be­hind a rather dif­fi­cult 2010 – a year through which the ef­fects of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis and the en­su­ing re­ces­sion were still keenly felt. Un­for­tu­nately, a re­bound failed to ma­te­ri­alise in 2011 as the Euro­pean econ­omy con­tin­ued to strug­gle un­der the added weight of a spread­ing sov­er­eign debt cri­sis. That is not to say all SEE in­sur­ers had a dis­ap­point­ing 2011. On the con­trary, many of the top 100 sec­tor play­ers in the re­gion in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly their prof­its or re­versed prior-year losses. Still, 2011 as a whole proved yet another year of slid­ing gross writ­ten pre­mi­ums (GWP) and while the de­cline was much less pro­nounced com­pared to the drop be­tween 2009 and 2010, it showed that the re­cov­ery would be any­thing but swift and easy.

The re­gion’s top 100 in­sur­ers ex­ited 2011 with a com­bined 6.053 bil­lion euro in GWP com­pared to 6.197 bil­lion in 2010. The best per­former in terms of GWP growth was Ro­ma­nia’s City In­sur­ance SA, whose GWP shot up by 216.64% to 46.3 mil­lion euro. This pro­pelled the com­pany to num­ber 39 in the rank­ings from 78 the year be­fore. Ro­ma­nia is also home to the com­pany that did worst on that count. Char­tis Ro­ma­nia SA suf­fered a 33.92% drop in GWP, slip­ping from num­ber 71 in the top 100 chart to num­ber 90. Over­all, 44 com­pa­nies ended 2011 with smaller fig­ures un­der their GWP ac­count head­ings.

A look at the top five SEE in­sur­ers of 2011 is likely to trig­ger a sense of deja-vu. All five com­pa­nies held on to the po­si­tions se­cured in 2010 and all but one achieved sub­stan­tial profit growth. Hats off to Slove­nia’s Zavaroval­nica Triglav, which may be op­er­at­ing in the re­gion’s small­est coun­try but runs way ahead of the pack in terms of GWP and profit. The com­pany is the undis­puted leader in the rank­ings for the third year in a row de­spite the 3.42% slide in GWP to 696.7 mil­lion euro. This is still head and shoul­ders above the re­sult achieved by num­ber two, Croa­tia Osig­u­ranje, which wrapped up 2011 with GWP of 370.3 mil­lion euro, down 3.68%. Zavaroval­nica Triglav’s net profit jumped to 43.8 mil­lion euro from 32.1 mil­lion euro in 2010, while Croa­tia Osig­u­ranje’s nearly dou­bled, surg­ing from 5.9 mil­lion euro to 10.4 mil­lion euro. Third-ranked Adri­atic Slovenica of Slove­nia man­aged a 1.62% in­crease in GWP to 265.6 mil­lion euro and lifted its net profit to 17.7 mil­lion euro from 10.5 mil­lion euro. Zavaroval­nica Mari­bor, also of Slove­nia, re­tained its fourth place with 2011 GWP of 263.2 mil­lion euro, a rise of 1.40%. The com­pany’s net profit re­mained flat at 10.6 mil­lion euro. As­tra SA of Ro­ma­nia held on to its fifth po­si­tion al­though its GWP fell by 6.89% to 233.5 mil­lion euro. In terms of net profit, how­ever, As­tra had an ex­cel­lent year as the fig­ure bal­looned from 5.9 mil­lion euro in 2010 to 18.8 mil­lion.

Po­si­tions six to nine were oc­cu­pied by fa­mil­iar names al­beit in a slightly dif­fer­ent ar­range­ment. Ro­ma­nian Al­lianz - Tiriac Asig­u­rari SA landed at num­ber six af­ter fin­ish­ing sev­enth in 2010. Its do­mes­tic ri­vals Om­ni­asig Vienna In­sur­ance Group SA (which merged into BCR Asig­u­rari Vienna In­sur­ance Group SA in 2012) and Groupama Asig­u­rari SA also climbed one rung of the lad­der to fin­ish at num­bers seven and eight re­spec­tively. Round­ing off the top 10 was Ser­bia’s Du­nav Osig­u­ranje AD, which moved up from num­ber ten to num­ber nine. Asig­u­rarea Ro­maneasca - Asirom Vienna In­sur­ance Group SA was the new kid on the top 10 block, climb­ing from num­ber 14 a year ear­lier.

The top 100 club wel­comed five new mem­bers in 2011, three of which are rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Bul­garia. Bul Ins AD, Alico Bul­garia Life In­sur­ance Com­pany EAD (Metlife) and UBB-Alico Life In­sur­ance Com­pany AD (UBB Metlife) fin­ished the race in the 27th, 95th and 96th place re­spec­tively. Slove­nia’s Merkur Zavaroval­nica

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