The stalling economic recovery, lower interest rates, increasing credit spreads, falling equity markets and record levels of natural catastrophe losses made 2011 a challenging year for European insurers. Yet against this background the insurers in our survey produced a robust set of results, while achieving an aggregate increase of 2.1 percent in total equity, when compared to the prior year, further demonstrating the relative stability of the European insurance industry.
However, when compiling this publication it served to remind us of the diversity in accounting and reporting practices that currently exist in the European insurance industry. The lack of consistency in the way insurers report their financial results makes it more difficult for analysts and investors to analyse and compare an insurer’s performance. In an era where there is tough competition for capital, the complexity and lack of comparability of insurers’ financial information puts the industry at a disadvantage to other sectors, where the financial position of a company is easier to compare with its peers.
This publication is the latest edition of Insurance Reporting Round-up and presents a review of 2011 financial information published by major European insurance groups.