AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Santa Lucía S.A. Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros

AMSTERDAM--()--AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a” of Santa Lucía S.A. Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros (Santalucía) (Spain). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.

The ratings reflect Santalucía’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

Santalucía’s risk-adjusted capitalisation remains at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), supported by good internal capital generation. The company’s balance sheet strength benefits from the protection against losses from most natural perils provided by the Spanish government’s national scheme (Consorcio de Compensacion de Seguros). An offsetting factor is the exposure to higher investment risk stemming from the acquisition of Aviva’s Spanish life insurance business. AM Best expects the prospective capital position to benefit from stable retained earnings and a prudent dividend policy at approximately 30% pay-out ratio set in 2018.

Santalucía’s operating performance benefits from a track record of solid technical earnings primarily stemming from the funeral expenses (decesos) line of business, in which it has a leading market position. The acquisition of Aviva’s life business, together with the group’s strategy of investing in joint ventures that complement the decesos line of business, has overall shown positive contributions toward profitability. In 2018, Santalucía’s profit before tax stood at EUR 162.4 million, equivalent to a return on equity of 7.0%.

Santalucía has an established profile as a provider of personal insurance product lines in Spain and benefits from a long-standing brand and good reputation in the sector. Santalucía is now the eighth-largest insurance group in Spain by gross written premiums, with its profile enhanced by an improved business mix and broader reach of its network mainly within Spain.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data provider specialising in the insurance industry. The company does business in more than 100 countries. Headquartered in Oldwick, NJ, AM Best has offices in cities around the world, including London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

Giannina Carbajal Ortiz
Financial Analyst

+31 30 308 5428
giannina.carbajal@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Angela Yeo
Senior Director, Analytics

+31 20 308 5421
angela.yeo@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

Contacts

Giannina Carbajal Ortiz
Financial Analyst

+31 30 308 5428
giannina.carbajal@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Angela Yeo
Senior Director, Analytics

+31 20 308 5421
angela.yeo@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com