As anticipated, our life and health reinsurance business showed a pleasing development in the financial year just ended. Despite the fresh challenges faced by life and health reinsurance as a consequence of the appreciable increase in international competition and the strained state of capital and financial markets, we boosted our gross premium volume by 5.1% to EUR 6.5 billion (EUR 6.1 billion). Adjusted for exchange rate effects, the growth of 4.9% was within the bounds of our expectations for 2014. The planned target of more than EUR 180 million for the Value of New Business was clearly surpassed in the year under review at EUR 448.4 million. For more detailed information in this regard and on the Market Consistent Embedded Value (MCEV) please see the MCEV Report published separately on our website.
Investment income improved slightly by 0.4% to EUR 614.2 million (EUR 611.5 million). Of this, EUR 258.5 million (EUR 269.1 million) was attributable to assets under own management; the remaining EUR 355.7 million (EUR 342.4 million) derived from securities deposited with ceding companies.
The operating profit (EBIT) normalised in the reporting period and reached a level of EUR 263.8 million (EUR 150.5 million). The sharp rise of 75.3% year-on-year was due largely to reduced strengthening of reserves as well as lower losses in Australian disability business. The EBIT margin for mortality and morbidity business consequently developed favourably in the reporting period compared to the previous year, but at 4.8% it still fell short of our 6% target. Financial solutions and longevity business, on the other hand, which delivered EBIT margins of 6.5% and 2.9% respectively, comfortably beat their 2% target and clear reflected the pleasing profitability of the underlying business.
The normalised and generally positive business development in life and health reinsurance caused Group net income for this business group to improve substantially on the previous year’s performance: it came in at EUR 205.0 million (EUR 164.2 million) for the financial year just ended, thereby boosting the relative contribution made to overall Group net income.