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First quarter shows solid operational performance but is impacted by the initial effects of the COVID-19 crisis

  • Turnover: €370m, up 0.9% at constant FX and perimeter 
    • Record client retention and strong new business momentum prior to lockdown  
    • Continued slowdown in client activities -a trend that is expected to accelerate over the coming quarters 
    • Trade Credit Insurance growing at 0.2% at constant FX and perimeters 
    • Dynamic growth of services, up 12%


  • Net loss ratio of 57.1%, up by 14.5 ppts.; net combined ratio at 86.8% 
    • Gross loss ratio (55.2%) affected by the impact of large claims (9%) unrelated to the current crisis, and by an increase in claims expected for 2020 
    • Net cost ratio at 29.7% – an improvement of 2.2 ppts. compared to 31.9% for Q1-2019 – thanks to strict cost management 
    • Net combined ratio at 86.8% for Q1-2020, up by 12.3 ppts. over one year
  • Net income (group share) of €12.7m and annualised RoATE* of 3.0%
  • Coface has rapidly and proactively adapted its operations to the coronavirus crisis by
    • Adjusting to the new environment, with over 95% of employees working from home since mid-March 
    • Doubling the number of preventive measures since the beginning of the year 
    • An adaptive project and investment reprioritisation strategy
  • Coface is entering into the crisis in a strengthened financial position with: 
    • A level of liquidity that has almost tripled compared to the pre-crisis situation, reaching 21% of the investment portfolio, thanks to early measures taken to reduce exposure to certain risky asset classes 
    • A high level of solvency. The solvency ratio was estimated at 190% as at 31 December 2019. Following the decision to propose no dividend distribution, and taking into account the sharp decline in the valuation of financial assets at 31 March 2020, this ratio is estimated at 195%**, above the comfort range (between 155% and 175%) 
    • An active participation in supporting economies alongside governments, particularly in France and Germany 

Unless otherwise indicated, change comparisons refer to the results as at March 31, 2019.



Xavier Durand, Coface CEO, commented:

“The coronavirus crisis presents an unprecedented shock for our economies and for the credit insurance industry. First and foremost, I am very proud of our teams’ successful efforts to continue supporting our customers despite the containment measures. Over 4,000 of our employees are working from home with no disruption in quality of service delivered to clients. This has enabled us to maintain a constant dialogue with our customers at a time when the environment has forced us to step up the pace of our prevention measures. The results for the first quarter, which show a positive net income of €12.7m, reflect only the initial effects of the crisis, that will affect our revenues through declining client activities and will increase claims. Our decision to propose no dividend for 2019 and to significantly increase our liquidity – which now accounts for 21% of our investments – strengthens our ability to weather this crisis. We are also working alongside governments to maintain credit insurance for the largest possible number of companies. Coface is proud to have signed agreement with the French and German governments and is continuing discussions with others States.” 



 * Return on average tangible equity

** Only the change in asset value and the impact of the dividend were taken into account in this figure. The estimated solvency ratio is not audited

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