The French reinsurer Scor returned to the green in the fourth quarter and saw its annual net profit for 2021 almost double compared to the previous year, driven by a transaction with Cova and a lesser impact from the Covid-19 crisis.
The group, whose business is to ensure insurers, recorded a net profit of 456 million euros last year, according to its press release published Thursday.
That’s slightly better than analysts’ expectations polled by data provider Factset and financial agency Bloomberg and much better than 2020 (234 million) and even 2019 (422 million), before the pandemic.
Gross premiums placed, equivalent to turnover, increased by 9.8% at constant exchange rates compared to 2020, to 17.60 billion euros.
Scor successfully demonstrated its ability to absorb shocks during the Covid-19 crisis, welcomed the ex-CEO, now only president of the company, Denis Kessler.
The group returned to profitability in the fourth quarter, after having suffered a net loss of 41 million euros in July and September due to a series of large-scale natural disasters including floods in Europe and Hurricane Ida.
Over the last three months of the year, Scor earned 118 million euros.
The year 2021 was marked by a peace agreement signed at the end of June with the insurer Cova, better known to the general public under its brands MMA, MAAF and GMF, with which it had been engaged in a legal war since 2018 after Cova had tried unsuccessfully to buy Scor.
As part of this agreement, 30% of the current business portfolio held by Scor entities in Ireland was sold to Cova, resulting in a net gain of €346 million for the life reinsurance branch. .
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Commercial activity was supported by the non-life reinsurance branch, SCOR Global P&C, which recorded an increase in its gross premiums written of 23.5% in the fourth quarter and 14.9% over the year, as reported.
The solvency ratio, a key indicator for the entire insurance sector that measures the financial strength of a company, is estimated at 226% as of December 31, 2021.
Buoyed by its good year, Scor will propose to the general meeting a dividend of 1.80 euro per share.