May 08, 2015
Life and Retirement Products and Standard Commercial Lines Drive First Quarter Growth for Nationwide
Columbus, Ohio - Nationwide, one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S., today reported total operating revenue of $6.4 billion1 for the first quarter of 2015. Results reflect revenue growth and strong performance across the company’s major product lines. Direct written premium, policy charges and asset fees spurred the growth.
Nationwide, a U.S.-based mutual company, paid more than $3.6 billion in claims and other benefits to members and business partners during the quarter. Net operating income of $391 million1 was up more than 11 percent over the same time last year.
“Our first quarter results were solid and our core performance remains strong in financial services and P&C business lines,” said Nationwide Chief Executive Officer Steve Rasmussen. “We’re making excellent progress in our transition to a single brand, and we’re already seeing efforts across the company that are helping us deliver a more seamless experience to our members and business partners.”
Nationwide is focused on delivering multi-faceted solutions while expanding distribution and product offerings, all under one brand. The company also continues to build direct sales capabilities, allowing customers the flexibility to purchase products online or by phone.
“First quarter operating revenues were strong year over year and reflect a steady trend over the past several years,” said Chief Financial Officer Mark Thresher. “Our capital levels also remain strong, with A.M. Best reaffirming our A+ rating during the quarter. The steady growth and benefit of long-term investments we’ve experienced over the past several years have helped us build capital so that we can meet the needs of our members regardless of market conditions or weather.”
A table of financial highlights is available at www.nationwide.com/financials.
Financial Services Business Highlights
Nationwide’s sales of financial services products increased to $5.3 billion for the first three months of 2015, up 6 percent over the same period in 2014.
Fixed indexed annuities led financial services sales growth over first quarter 2014, driven largely by sales in the company’s New Heights product launched in 2014. First year individual life insurance sales also increased significantly over last year, primarily driven by universal life products. During the quarter, Nationwide added two new indexed universal life products offering more options for clients’ accumulation and protection needs.
Retirement plan sales grew by 8 percent over the same period in 2014 due to an increase in both the number and size of plans acquired in the private sector 401(k) business, as well as higher customer rollovers in the public sector.
Mutual fund sales continued strong momentum, with assets under management growing to $60.2 billion at the end of the first quarter.
Bank deposits were $5.0 billion through first quarter, and consumer loans were $3.8 billion.
Nationwide’s financial services lines generated $194 million in net operating income through the first three months of 2015, up more than 5 percent over the same period last year. Operating performance was driven by business growth and a 7 percent increase in customer assets.
Property & Casualty Business Highlights
Nationwide grew direct written premium (DWP) by more than 3 percent to $4.6 billion for the first three months, driven primarily by commercial lines and direct channel sales.
Nationwide, the No. 1 total small business insurer2 in the U.S., grew commercial lines premium to $1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2015, up 7 percent over the same period in 2014. The company delivered strong performance across standard commercial and excess & surplus/specialty lines. Agribusiness insurance proved to be the fastest growing commercial business line with an increase in direct written premium of 8 percent over the same period in 2014, driven by strong retention and new sales.
Personal lines direct written premium totaled $2.7 billion, driven by increases in new standard auto policies and retention. The company continued to see premium growth through direct sales to consumers via the internet and telephone, which increased nearly 9 percent over the first quarter of last year.
Nationwide recently launched a new product line, under the Crestbrook brand, serving the personal lines needs of high-net-worth clients. The product line is currently available in 12 states and is targeted to be rolled out across the country. Nationwide also recently announced its exclusive participation in a rewards program called Plenti℠. The program, a U.S. coalition loyalty program comprised of widely known companies including American Express and several other top brands, is designed to offer consumers greater choice and savings potential through a multi-category rewards platform.3
Nationwide paid $2.9 billion in property and casualty claims, which remained static over the same period in 2014.
Nationwide’s P&C business reported $204 million in quarterly net operating income.
Investments and Capital
As of March 31, 2015, general account investments totaled $84.5 billion. Net investment income of $747 million was down from first quarter 2014, driven by inflation-sensitive securities. Total assets grew to $198.2 billion.
Nationwide reported net income of $199 million through first quarter, which is up over the same period last year, including the impact of Nationwide’s strategic risk and capital management programs. As intended, these programs reduce the impact of interest rate movements on the company’s capital position. Nationwide’s capital position continued to strengthen with increases in both statutory surplus and policyholder equity during the quarter. Statutory surplus – a measure of financial strength and claims-paying ability evaluated by regulators and rating agencies – increased to $15.2 billion, which is more than three times the amount required by regulators to cover its obligations to customers. Total policyholders’ equity increased to $20.9 billion.
“It’s no exaggeration to say Nationwide has entered a new era,” Rasmussen said. “As we leverage the power of a single brand with many solutions, Nationwide will continue to transform in exciting ways that reinforce our commitment to help our members and partners plan for the future and protect what matters most. We’ve been successful because of our focus on sound business fundamentals, and because we have great people committed to delivering the very best for our members as underscored by Nationwide’s recognition on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list.”
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.