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Financial COFACE results 2014 – continuous growth

Results at 30 September 2014:
Coface continues to progress on a path of growth and profitability


•  Turnover +1.8% at constant scope and exchange rates
•  Client retention rate still high at 91.9% and new contracts production up +8%
•  Continued improvement in combined ratio after reinsurance at 77.4% (-5.2 points1 )
•  Current operating income2 +28.2% and net income group share +36.1%, at constant scope and exchange rates3

Changes in % expressed in comparison to the first nine months of 2013


Commenting on these results, Jean-Marc Pillu, CEO of the Coface Group said:

"Coface’s performance is in line with objectives. At the end of these first nine months, the Group has posted satisfactory growth and solid profitability. Coface’s international presence has enabled the Group to capture growth in the most dynamic markets. While the economic environment worldwide is improving slowly, the Group continues to focus on responding to its clients’ needs with innovative offers and proactive risk management. Our results demonstrate that this strategy is sound."


1. Turnover
Group consolidated turnover was €1,072.0 million at the end of the first nine months of 2014. The increase in turnover (+1.8% on a comparable basis4 and -0.4% at current scope and exchange rate) is due to increased new contracts production (+8% compared to 30 September 2013) and still high client loyalty, with a policy retention rate of 91.9%. Turnover growth is heading in the right direction in emerging markets and in North America, with these zones contributing most to the Group's development. Coface is rolling out its new commercial organisation and continues to strengthen its sales processes to make these more effective, particularly in Western Europe and in Northern Europe. The planned introduction of innovative offers and services continues: Easyliner (targeted at SMEs) launched last March is now available in eight countries.


2. Results
Current operating income2 rose 28.2% to €164.0 million and net income (group share) was up 36.1% to €113.6 million, excluding restated items3. This performance is a consequence of the Group’s rigorous risk management and cost control. The loss ratio after reinsurance fell by 5.9 points compared to last year and stood at 49.7% at the end of the first nine months of the year. The cost ratio after reinsurance remained quasi-stable at 27.6% (+0.6 points1 ), and the rise in overheads is less than the increase in premiums. In total, the combined ratio after reinsurance improved by 5.2 points1 to 77.4%.


3. Financial solidity
At 30 September 2014, total IFRS equity of the group totalled €1,709.5 million. The change in IFRS equity is explained mainly by positive net income of €103.1 million, reduced by the distribution of special
dividend of €227 million in 2Q. Coface issued subordinated debt of €380 million in 1Q, enabling it to strengthen its regulatory equity and optimise its capital structure. Following this transaction, the rating agencies Fitch and Moody's confirmed the IFS ratings that they attribute to the Group: respectively AA- and A2, stable outlook. The return on average tangible equity (RoATE6 ) was 9.6% at the end of the first nine months of the year, up 1.2 points compared to the level observed at the end of 2013.


4. Outlook
The economic recovery forecast for 2014 is confirmed, even if it is slower than initially expected by the markets. Coface expects worldwide growth of 2.8%, i.e. 0.2 points more than in 2013. In this environment, the profitable organic growth strategy based on innovative marketing efforts and the rollout of more effective sales processes enable the Group to confirm its financial guidance7 for 2014:
•  Turnover growth of between 1.5% - 2.5%;
•  A combined ratio after reinsurance below 80%;
•  Double-digit average growth in current operating income over three years between 2013 and 20168 .

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