In Q1 2021, SCOR’s financial results have been impacted by the unique combination of known and modelled Covid-19 claims development and a series of large natural catastrophes, driven by a polar vortex causing Texas Winter Storm Uri.
Covid-19 claims are manageable, developing as expected and tracking closely in line with what was previously communicated1. In Q1 2021, Covid-19 impact stands on the Life side at EUR 162 million2, of which EUR 145 million comes from the U.S. mortality portfolio, and overall has been stable on the P&C side since December 31, 2020.
The SCOR group continues to grow and to absorb shocks. SCOR records a net income of EUR 45 million in Q1 2021 and delivers a very high solvency of 232%, which reflects all expected future Covid-19 impacts and is above the optimal solvency range of 185% to 220% defined in “Quantum Leap”.
- Group gross written premiums of EUR 4,125 million in Q1 2021, are up 5.6% at constant exchange rates compared with Q1 2020 (down -0.8% at current exchange rates).
- SCOR Global P&C gross written premiums are up by a robust 10.3% at constant exchange rates compared with Q1 2020 (up 2.9% at current exchange rates). SCOR Global P&C delivers excellent normalized technical profitability in Q1 2021. The net combined ratio stands at 97.1%, including 12.6% of natural catastrophes. Normalized for natural catastrophes, the net combined ratio stands at 91.4% far better than the “Quantum Leap” assumption.
- SCOR Global Life gross written premiums are up 2.1% at constant exchange rates compared with Q1 2020 (down 3.6% at current exchange rates). SCOR Global Life delivers a technical margin of 1.6% in Q1 2021, with Covid-19 claims development standing in line with expectations.
- SCOR Global Investments seizes opportunities in the fixed income market on the back of a reflation dynamic and delivers a solid return on invested assets of 3.0% in Q1 2021 driven by EUR 77 million of realized gains.
- The Group cost ratio, which stands at 4.5% of gross written premiums, is 10% better than the “Quantum Leap” assumption of ~5.0%.
- The Group net income stands at EUR 45 million in Q1 2021. The annualized return on equity (ROE) stands at 2.9%, 247 bps above the risk-free rate3.
- The Group generates high operating cash flows of EUR 514 million in Q1 2021. The Group’s total liquidity is very strong, standing at EUR 3.3 billion at March 31, 2021.
- The Group shareholders’ equity stands at EUR 6,277 million as at March 31, 2021, up by EUR 100 million compared with December 31, 2020. This results in a book value per share of EUR 33.61, compared to EUR 33.01 as at December 31, 2020.
- The Group financial leverage stands at 28.3% as at March 31, 2021, slightly improving by 0.2% points compared to December 31, 2020.
- The estimated Group solvency ratio stands at 232% on March 31, 2021, above the optimal solvency range of 185% - 220% as defined in the “Quantum Leap” strategic plan. The increase in solvency compared to December 31, 2020, was driven by an increase in interest rates and positive operating performance.
Denis Kessler, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of SCOR, comments: “More than a year into the Covid-19 crisis, with its deep human, economic and financial impact, SCOR once again demonstrates the strength of its business model and the relevance of its strategy. SCOR relies on its expertise in risk and epidemiological modelling capabilities to predict and monitor the Covid-19 development and to estimate its foreseeable impacts on the Group. As expected, SCOR’s Q1 2021 results are significantly impacted by Covid-19, in particular on the Life side. In addition, on the P&C side, SCOR had to face in Q1 2021 a series of natural catastrophes driven by a polar vortex causing Winter Storm Uri in Texas, a remote tail risk event in this region of the United States. The probability of a polar vortex and a pandemic occurring in the same quarter is extremely low but is nonetheless one of the extreme scenarios within our risk appetite. On the investment side, SCOR was able to successfully seize opportunities in the fixed income market on the back of a reflation dynamic to crystallize value. SCOR is profitable in Q1 2021, delivers a very high level of liquidity and records a solvency level above its optimal range. As demonstrated by the successful January and April renewals, SCOR is very well positioned to benefit from improvements in pricing and terms and conditions in particular on the P&C (re)insurance market which should continue.”