APRIL Group Health & Personal Protection division reported a 2.4% increase in sales based on reported data, broken down into a 1.7% decrease in brokerage commissions and a 9.3% rise in premiums.
The increase in insurance premiums was driven by the development of individual (seniors and self-employed), group and expatriate Health & Personal Protection portfolios. It also reflects new partnerships in group health insurance portfolios linked to the French National Interbranch Agreement (ANI) and an adjustment to the reinsurance structure.
The decrease in brokerage commissions mainly resulted from the contraction of our individual employee health insurance portfolios in light of the new regulation on compulsory group private health insurance, which became effective on 1 January 2016. This decrease was partly offset by the excellent performance of loan insurance. Individual health insurance for seniors and the self-employed continued to perform well. Group private health insurance sales began later than scheduled, but registered a sharp increase towards the end of the year.
The division posted a current EBIT margin down 2.4 percentage points to 15.3%, due to the decrease in individual health insurance revenues, the investments made in group health insurance (process scale-up, bespoke solutions meeting new regulations and the hiring of new staff in order to maintain quality of service) and intense competition in the health insurance sector throughout the year. The group does not anticipate any changes of these parameters in 2016.
The division posted an EBIT of €73.5m.
APRIL achieved a satisfactory overall performance in a changing environment. The group consolidated its market positioning by keeping up an aggressive sales strategy: positive sales momentum were recorded in increasingly regulated and competitive markets, impacted in particular by the extension of group private health insurance in France.
“2015 was a year of true commitment and structuring for us. Defining our key growth levers around a strengthened management team has allowed us to make a clear assessment and set priorities for our actions and investments, which will have a major influence on the group in the coming years. Our capacity for innovation and the quality of our policy and claims handling, which are more than ever fully focused on serving our customers, should enable us to mitigate the expected decline in our current EBIT for 2016. We are confident in the strength of our group to renew with profit growth as the markets in which we operate gradually stabilise” commented APRIL Chairman and CEO Bruno Rousset.