Allianz Global Assistance also reported an improved combined ratio – 96% - and operating profitability that was up 20.1% (operating profit was 113 million Euros) in an economic context marked by relentless difficulties in the Euro Zone and a luke warm recovery of the US economy.
“2012 was another year of growth for Allianz Global Assistance with very satisfying results considering the mediocre context of the most mature regions. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we have once again demonstrated our capacity to serve both our global and our local clients throughout the world,” declared Rémi Grenier, CEO and President of Allianz Global Assistance.
Adds Serge Corel, CEO of Allianz Global Assistance in the UK: “2012 saw us successfully complete our transformation from Mondial Assistance UK to Allianz Global Assistance UK, strengthening our synergies with the Group to the benefit of our clients, their customers and our own employees. Our Automotive division continued to grow organically, whilst bringing on board new manufacturers to widen our market reach. Our fledgling Health Division firmly established itself as a robust employee benefits provider and our Travel Insurance and Medical Assistance solutions continue to be recognized as quality providers in competitive arenas. Whilst economic challenges will need to be overcome as we work towards achieving the Group’s 2015 ambitions, the continued dedication and commitment of our UK team gives us the greatest of confidence that those ambitions will be realized.”
Automotive: a year of strong performance in Europe despite the markets’ economic downturn
Roadside assistance grew by 8.8% in 2012 compared to 2011 and now represents 38% of total group turnover. In 2012, new car sales (of all brands combined) fell in Europe for the 5th consecutive year, while they continued to climb steeply in major emerging countries. Contract renewals and extensions with main automotive manufacturers enabled the Group to realise strong performances in Europe, while simultaneously reinforcing its sales in more dynamic markets.
Roadside assistance thereby grew 26% in 2012 in the Asia Pacific region compared to 2011. At the global level, clients in the financial sector (banks and insurance companies) today represent 60% of this activity compared to 40% for automotive manufacturers.
Travel: steady growth driven by Northern Europe
In 2012, Allianz Global Assistance’s travel activity increased by 5.1% and represents 44% of total Group turnover. Despite economic tensions in the Euro Zone, growth was particularly strong in Germany (+7 .7%) and The Netherlands (+6.8%). Online subscriptions, which represent two thirds of the Group’s travel insurance sales, grew less quickly (+2.5%) in 2012 than in previous years.
This slowdown can be partially explained by the change from a default choice of opt-out to default choice of opt-in on all online travel sites, a measure that regulators imposed on all American companies. B2C sales, on the other hand, reported solid 15.2% growth.
Health, Home & Lifecare: a potential anchored in demographic reality
With 18% of total turnover, the Health, Home & Lifecare activity continued to develop in 2012. Health services reported growth of 19.3% and Home & Lifecare grew by 24.1%.
The healthcare field is in full expansion and now represents 11% of the Group’s total activity. In developed countries, the challenges of aging and the desire to control healthcare costs are creating new demands and needs for developing new solutions in a highly regulated environment. In emerging countries, an increasingly large middle class continues to generate a growing need for high quality healthcare services and treatments, which local infrastructures and expertise are struggling to fulfill.
These contrasting situations encourage the adoption of innovative solutions like telemedicine and tele-health services that Allianz Global Assistance develops for its clients in all regions. These services are designed to reassure customers and improve their quality of life and are linked to the home and daily life activities (tele-surveillance, insurance for mobile devices, extended warranties for household appliances…). In addition to leisure offers like ticket cancellation insurance, these solutions combined reported strong growth (+24.1% in 2012).
Balanced growth in all regions
The Group continues to rebalance its activity across its three geographic regions. Although Europe still represents 60% of total turnover with 7.6% growth in 2012, the Asia Pacific zone represents 16.6% of the total activity and has the strongest annual growth (13%). The Americas region, which represented 23.4% of the Group’s activity in 2012, saw its turnover increase by 10.3% compared to 2011. France is still number one with a turnover of 468 million Euros, up 12%.
The American business unit retained its second position with 330 million Euros in turnover, up 11.3%. In third place, Australia, which realised 275 million Euros in turnover for a growth of 8.9%. France, the Group’s leading market in terms of turnover, continues to develop its traditional markets, while also emphasising innovation with promising offers in the healthcare sector (launch of Tele-conseil Santé and patient services for ensuring “pre, during and post” hospitalisation) and by targeting new client segments with a roadside assistance offer dedicated to two-wheel motorised vehicles.
The Group: well-armed and ready to respond to a changing world
Throughout 2012, Allianz Global Assistance reinforced its leadership position by simultaneously pursuing organic growth, external growth, innovation and the globalisation of its organisation. Through these parallel efforts and by strengthening synergies with Allianz, the Group secured its capacity to serve increasingly global clients in a resolutely global marketplace, while maintaining its ability to launch local initiatives and thereby innovate at the local level.
In 2012, the Group reinforced its global footprint with the acquisition of NEXtCARE third party administrator and leader in healthcare claims management services for member countries of the Gulf Region Cooperative and the Middle East, and CTI, a travel insurance specialist in New Zealand. In a global context of great economic uncertainty, Allianz Global Assistance maintains its growth ambitions for 2015.