Spanish takeover inflates otherwise falling results

Atradius, a global leader in trade credit insurance and debt collection, today reported a loss of €193.4m on a 40% increase in turnover, based largely on the takeover of Spains largest credit insuer Crédito y Caución.

Excluding Crédito y Caución, turnover excluding investment income decreased by 0.7% as it pulled cover from many companies, with premiums down 1.1% and revenues down 2.2%.

The ratio of net claims to insurance revenues increased from 42.4% in 2007 to 97.4% in 2008.

Highlights

  • Gross insurance revenues increased 40.7% to €1,774.0m from €1,261.2m. Excluding Crédito y Caución, gross insurance revenues decreased by 1.7%
  • Service and other income increased 20.3% to €74.3m from €61.8m in 2007
  • Net investment result of €47.8m compared with €79.7m in 2007
  • Net loss of €193.4m compared with net profit of €164.2m in 2007
  • Equity, including the combination with Crédito y Caución, increased 19.0% to €1,016.0m at year end 2008 compared to year end 2007
  • Total assets increased 42.1% to €4,035.2m at year end 2008 compared to year end 2007.
  • Gross earned premiums grew 40.7% to €1,616.4m. Excluding Crédito y Caución, premiums fell by 1.1%.
  • Income from credit limit fees increased by 40.0% to €157.6m. Excluding Crédito y Caución, credit limit fees fell by 7.5%.
  • Traditional trade credit insurance revenues grew 46.7% to €1,560.9m. Excluding Crédito y Caución, these revenues decreased by 2.2%.
  • Net claims ratio of 97.4% compared with 42.4% in 2007 (Atradius stand-alone 2008: 70.1%; Crédito y Caución 156.4%)
  • Net expense ratio of 32.2% compared with 37.9% in 2007 (Atradius stand-alone 2008: 39.7%; Crédito y Caución 16.1%)
  • Net combined ratio of 129.7% compared with 79.2% in 2007 (Atradius stand-alone 2008: 109.8%; Crédito y Caución 172.6%)

Isidoro Unda, CEO of Atradius said, “We have stood beside our customers providing insurance cover throughout this economic downturn despite the harsh business environment in some markets where we have a leading position. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to supporting the business community and our willingness to assume reasonable trade credit risks, for our customers, in good and bad times. We have experienced many recessions over the years and we are managing this cycle by building a stronger company with a clear leadership in the global credit insurance market.”

Mr Unda added, “The credit risk environment has substantially deteriorated and we anticipate a continued challenging business environment in 2009. Therefore we have had to increase prices and prudently manage our risk positions. While we see meaningful opportunities to grow premiums, we will temper that growth with a conservative underwriting policy. Our customers remain our primary concern. We will continue to support their worldwide trade activities and entrepreneurial actions throughout this economic contraction through responsible coverage of trade credit risks and guidance.”