In the current year, despite a challenging environment on the capital market and in reinsurance business, we anticipate a good overall result for the Hannover Re Group. Bearing in mind developments both in property and casualty and in life and health reinsurance, we expect to book stable or slightly higher gross premium volume – based on constant exchange rates – for our total portfolio in the current financial year.
The premium volume in property and casualty reinsurance is expected to remain stable for 2015 based on constant exchange rates. We shall continue to practise our systematic underwriting discipline, writing only business that satisfies our margin requirements. We expect the treaty renewals during the year to pass off favourably thanks to our good rating and long-standing stable customer relationships. Despite softer market conditions overall in property and casualty reinsurance, the underwriting result should come in on the level of 2014 – provided the major loss incidence remains within the bounds of expectations. In terms of the targeted combined ratio, we are aiming for a figure under 96%. The EBIT margin for property and casualty reinsurance should amount to at least 10%.
In life and health reinsurance we shall continue to concentrate on enlarging our range of services in the current year so as to offer our customers an optimal combination of traditional risk transfer and comprehensive reinsurance service. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, we expect to book slightly higher gross premium overall and an increased profit. The Value of New Business (VNB) for 2015 should again be in excess of EUR 180 million. We continue to aim for EBIT margins of 2% for financial solutions and longevity business and 6% for mortality and morbidity business.
With regard to the IVC targets that we use to map economic value creation, we anticipate a minimum 2% xRoCA for property and casualty reinsurance and at least 3% xRoCA for life and health reinsurance.
The expected positive cash flow that we generate from the technical account and our investments should – based on stable exchange rates – lead to further growth in our asset portfolio. We anticipate a return on investment of 3.0%.
For 2015 we anticipate Group net income in the order of EUR 875 million. This is subject to the proviso that the burden of major losses does not significantly exceed the budgeted level of EUR 690 million and that there are no exceptionally adverse developments on capital markets.
In terms of the dividend for the current financial year, Hannover Re envisages a payout ratio in the range of 35% to 40% of its IFRS Group net income. This ratio may increase in light of capital management considerations if the present comfortable level of capitalisation remains unchanged.
Our strategic objective is to generate a minimum return on equity within the Group that is 900 basis points above the risk-free interest rate. We also seek to increase the earnings per share by 6.5% and the book value per share (including dividends paid) by at least 7.5% annually.