Euler Hermes 2019 full year results: all regions and lines of business growing, transformation delivering tangible results

· 2019 revenues at €2,913 million, up 7% at constant exchange rates · Net combined ratio improved by 1.2 percentage point to 79.9% · Operating profit at €475 million, up 10% · Launch of MyEH, an innovative customer platform · Euler Hermes Datalab at full speed with 33 employees · Open Data Portal opens new doors to millions of exclusive data · First credit insurer to incorporate ESG risks into its country and region ratings

“We are very proud of our achievements in the past year: not only our 2019 full year results are excellent, but also we clearly accelerated on the commercial and innovation sides. Our transformation is on the right track, with a large variety of initiatives in our various geographies. Thanks to our investments and to the daily commitment of our employees all over the world, we are the most innovative B2B trade credit insurer and hence redefining trade finance. Whilst driving this transformation, we must also keep a close watch on the growing complexity of the challenges faced by our clients: slower growth, political and trade tensions, the worrying trend of rising insolvencies, and now, the economic impact of the Covid-19 epidemic. This implies higher export risks for businesses combined with high uncertainty. More than ever, business leaders must apply a very selective and preventive credit management,” said Wilfried Verstraete, Chairman of the Euler Hermes Board of Management.

 

Hong Kong, 2 March 2020In a context of sluggish global growth, Euler Hermes showed very strong performance in 2019: all regions and lines of business are growing. Revenues reached €2,913 million, up 7% at constant exchange rates, with North America and Asia Pacific as the fastest growing regions. Net combined ratio improved by 1.2 percentage point to 79.9% driven by better prior year development and a lower expense ratio. Operating profit reached a record high this year: €475 million, up 10%, positioning Euler Hermes as one of the main profit contributors to Allianz’ P&C segment. This is mainly due to higher premiums and a better combined ratio, coupled with higher current investment income. Solvency II ratio for Euler Hermes Group is at 159% at the end of 2019 improving by 4 percentage points compared to end of 2018.

 

“Asia Pacific achieved very positive results in 2019 which is a strong testament to our customer-centric strategy. I am very pleased that we are once again contributing to the Group's overall success. As envisaged, 2020 is filled with uncertainties and challenges for our customers. Together with our team, I am confident that we can navigate our customers through the volatile markets and to grow profitably and sustainably together,” said Holger Schaefer, Euler Hermes Asia Pacific Regional CEO.

 

These strong results illustrate how Euler Hermes, in less than two years, translated its 2021 strategy “Confidence to be bold” into record financial achievements, while the digitalization and the innovation announced as part of our transformation strategy materializes according to plans.

 

Our strategy based on diversification in terms of products and geographies is paying off: for the second year in a row, Euler Hermes achieved the highest level of new business in its history, and reached an excellent retention rate of 91%. Euler Hermes also confirmed its rank as #1 brand recommended for trade credit insurance for customers for the third year in a row.

 

In an effort to constantly challenge and improve customer experience, Euler Hermes recently released its new customer platform: MyEH. Built and designed in collaboration with its customers, MyEH illustrates Euler Hermes' strategy as an industry leader reinventing the credit insurance customer experience. A world class leader thanks to an innovative UX design, MyEH is built out of market insights and developed with a fully customer-centric approach: it already counts 6,500 users and should reach 65,000 users by the end of the year. MyEH is a sparring partner for customers to achieve their business targets: it is efficient for both small companies looking for quick and easy solutions, and for larger ones who have more credit risk expertise and seeking advanced solutions.

 

Single Invoice Cover”, a new offer launched in 2018 and available through a single API, continued to be integrated in 2019 by new partners such as Fundbox in the US or Moment in France. This allows fintech startups to grow by benefiting from the guarantee of Euler Hermes, a pledge of confidence for their customers and prospects.

 

Euler Hermes also accelerated on the innovation side with a strong focus on data: Datalab, founded in October 2016 with 2 data scientists in Paris, reached 33 employees this year. Its first product, a Machine Learning asset, enhances its in-house grading system. It has improved prediction capabilities, delivering a positive impact in terms of claims avoided and new business acquired. 

 

Last March, Euler Hermes launched its open data portal, granting public access to millions of exclusive data for anyone to access, use and share valuable data on international B2B trade.

 

Euler Hermes also launched Trade Match in February this year, a free data visualization tool allowing access to Euler Hermes proprietary data and expert analysis in just a few clicks. Combining country and region risk ratings and forecasts for export gains and trade growth, Trade Match reveals the risks and opportunities for exporters across 17 sectors and 70 economies.

 

Lastly, the recent inclusion of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria to our country and region risk ratings marks a tipping point symbolic of companies and investors belief that ESG-related risks are going to drive everything they care about most: growth, market share and profitability. Moreover, the correlation between non-payments and severe climate-related events (supply chain interruptions), or between insolvencies and social unrests (looting, profit loss) are increasing over time. That is why Euler Hermes decided to include ESG-related risks of non-payments by companies, especially environmental vulnerabilities and rising societal risks, in its country and region risk rating methodology.

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