SCOR maintains profitability despite hit from COVID-19
“SCOR ended 2020 profitably and solvently.”
Those were the words of SCOR chair and chief executive Denis Kessler when the major reinsurer released its full-year financial results, which show sustained profitability despite the blow dealt by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the 12-month period, SCOR’s group net income amounted to €234 million (around $284.9 million). The corresponding figure in 2019 was higher, at €422 million.
In the fourth quarter, net income actually grew from €21 million previously to €99 million in Q4 2020. The company’s operating result for the year stood at €479 million while gross written premium in 2020 reached €16.4 billion.
“COVID-19 is a historic shock,” commented Kessler. “Pandemic risk is obviously well known to reinsurers. Infectious diseases figure prominently in the risk maps SCOR draws up each year. The study and modeling of risk was an integral part of our risk management when COVID-19 struck.
“With hindsight, we underestimated the truly global reach of such a phenomenon, as well as the critical impact of the various – unmodelable – decisions taken by governments to contain the spread of the virus, which ultimately had a major impact on the (re)insurance industry’s exposure to this crisis.”
The CEO, who also thanked SCOR’s workforce for “having kept the company running,” pointed out that the crisis has become multi-faceted and has impacted reinsurers in terms of both assets and liabilities on the life and property & casualty sides alike.
He asserted: “The group has successfully passed this real-life stress test by absorbing this major shock. SCOR ended 2020 profitably and solvently. The group’s fundamentals remain very strong, as demonstrated by the excellent results we would have recorded in the absence of COVID-19 – which cost the group €640 million in 2020 – as well as by the level of solvency achieved at the end of December.
“This enables the group to pursue its active shareholder remuneration policy, with a dividend of €1.80 per share for 2020 to be proposed at the annual general assembly.”