Scor is a French company active in the field of reinsurance. It is recognised as one of the leading reinsurers in the world. In addition, during the year 2020, the group's activity was affected by the coronavirus health crisis. This has not been without consequences on its financial performance. Discover here Scor's 2020 annual results as well as those of the first three quarters of the 2021 financial year.
In 2020, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on Scor's annual accounts is estimated at €640 million. In property and casualty reinsurance, the impact of the health crisis is estimated at 284 million euros. In life reinsurance, it is estimated at 314 million euros. In asset management, the impact amounted to 42 million euros.
In addition, for the full twelve months of the financial year 2020, gross written premiums, the equivalent of turnover, reached 16.37 billion euros, compared to 16.34 billion euros the previous year. 16.34 billion in the previous year. It increased slightly by 0.2% year-on-year. The market expected an average of 16.5 million euros in the year under review.
In the last quarter alone, gross written premiums amounted to EUR 4.09 billion, compared to EUR 4.29 billion in Q4-2019. For the year 2020, the company generated a net profit (group share) of €234 million, compared to €422 million in 2019, a decrease of 44.5%.
However, it is well ahead of market expectations, which were for €184 million. In the fourth quarter alone, net income was €99 million, compared with a profit of €21 million in the same period a year earlier. In 2020, the insurer recorded an operating profit of €479 million, compared to €713 million in 2019, a decline of 32.8%.
In Q4-2020, Scor's operating profit was €171 million, compared with €46 million a year earlier.
In 2020, the Scor Group generated operating cash flow of €988 million, compared with €841 million in 2019, an increase of 17.5%. At the end of December 2020, the company's total liquidity amounted to €1,989 million.
At the end of the financial year 2020, the group's equity amounted to €6,177 million. 197 million compared to its level at the end of December 2019. This is mainly due to the fall in the US dollar. The annualised return on equity (ROE) was 3.8%.
It was thus 327 basis points above the risk-free rate. At the end of December 2020, the group had a gearing ratio of 28.5%. This was an increase of 2.1% points compared to the previous year. This increase was driven by the fall in the level of equity. The latter is impacted by exchange rate developments.
At the end of December 2020, the estimated solvency ratio of the group reached 220%. This corresponds to the upper limit of the optimal solvency zone between 185% and 220%, as indicated in the "Quantum Leap" strategic plan.
Despite the continued impact of the coronavirus epidemic, the Scor Group delivered a strong financial performance in the first half of 2021. This was mainly driven by strong business growth in property and casualty reinsurance.
For the first six months of 2021 as a whole, gross written premiums, the equivalent of turnover, amounted to €8.44 billion, compared with €8.19 billion in H1-2020. 8.19 billion in H1-2020. This represents a year-on-year increase of 3% (at current exchange rates) and 9.1% (at constant exchange rates).
In H1-2021, net profit (group share) was €380 million, compared to €26 million in the same period a year earlier. Annualised return on equity (ROE) was 12.2% in H1-2021, compared to 0.8% in H1-2020. It corresponds to 1,177 basis points above the risk-free rate.
At the end of June 2021, the company's solvency ratio stood at 245%. This is above the optimal solvency range set out in Scor's Quantum Leap plan. This is between 185% and 220%.
In the third quarter of 2021, the Scor Group recorded a net loss of EUR 41 million, compared to a net profit of EUR 109 million in Q3-2020. The company's results were hit by major natural disasters. These included flooding in Europe and Hurricane Ida.
According to the group, these two claims represent a total charge of 343 million euros (net of retrocession and before tax) in Q3-2021. Between July and September 2021, gross written premiums, equivalent to turnover, amounted to 4.61 billion euros, compared to 4.09 billion euros in Q3-2020.
This represents an increase of 12.7% year-on-year. At the end of September 2021, the group's equity reached 6.32 billion euros, compared to 6.25 billion euros a year earlier at the same date. In Q3-2021, the annualised return on equity (ROE) was -2.6%, compared to 7.1% in Q3-2020.
At the end of the quarter under review, the group's estimated solvency ratio stood at 225%. It thus exceeds the optimal solvency zone indicated in Scor's Quantum Leap plan, which is a range of 185% to 220%. In addition, the French reinsurer has launched a share buyback plan.
It is estimated at 200 million euros. The implementation of this plan started on 28 October 2021 and should be completed by the end of March 2022.
The Scor Group is one of the companies that distribute a coupon to its shareholders at the end of each fiscal year. For example, the company has decided to pay a dividend of EUR 1.80 per share for the financial year 2020.
In addition, the Scor share is very popular with investors on the financial markets. Indeed, the company is listed on the Euronext market of the Paris Stock Exchange. At the beginning of 2022, the company had a market capitalisation of more than EUR 5 billion.