Baloise delivers outstanding performance

Basel, The Baloise Group generated strong growth in life insurance in the first nine months of the year, expanding its total volume of business by 5.5 per cent. It will report an exceptionally good profit for 2014 on the back of its excellent insurance operations, the disposal of its shareholdings in Nationale Suisse and Helvetia and the sale of Basler Austria. The Company is on track to comfortably achieve its financial and operational year-end targets.

Strong insurance business

Baloise continues to focus on attractive target segments. Because it pursued a selective underwriting policy, its premiums rose in highly profitable target segments and fell in less profitable areas. This improvement in the product mix meant that the total volume of non-life insurance business remained close to its prior-year level, edging down by 1.5 per cent to CHF 2,881.2 million. Given the excellent quality of its insurance portfolio and the benign claims environment prevailing in Switzerland, Baloise expects its net combined ratio for 2014 to be lower than it was last year.

Baloise's life insurance operations benefited from consistently strong demand for safe solutions in group life business, growing by a highly impressive 3.4 per cent overall to CHF 3,132.6 million. The Company's seasonally cyclical business in single premiums for unit-linked life products continued to perform well.

Robust balance sheet

Despite Baloise's encouraging operating performance, persistently low interest rates continue to pose a serious challenge for pension schemes. Thanks to its solid capitalisation (solvency ratio of 338 per cent) and its successful use of interest-rate hedging instruments, the Company is well equipped to contend with the prevailing low-interest-rate environment. Baloise's impressive operating performance will facilitate our practice of paying an attractive dividend to its shareholders.

Business volumes as at 30 September 2014 (YTD)

CHF million; change (%) Switzerland Germany Belgium Luxembourg Others* Rest Total
Life 2'520.8
5.9%
415.8
-7.5%
108.7
-4.8%
68.6
43.2%
18.7
-47.6%
-
-
3'132.6
3.4%
Unit-linked 129.6
39.1%
165.6
-1.8%
299.7
87.0%
859.8
23.3%
12.0
-12.7%
-
-
1'466.7
29.5%
Non-life 1'247.0
-0.3%
691.4
-5.7%
747.5
0.4%
93.3
43.9%
98.2
-23.7%
3.8
-0.7%
2'881.2
-1.5%
Total 3'897.3
4.6%
1'272.8
-5.8%
1'155.9
13.4%
1'021.7
26.2%
129.0
-27.6%
3.8
-0.7%
7'480.5
5.5%

*Austria, Croatia and Serbia

The Baloise Group is more than just a traditional insurance company. The changing security, safety and service needs of society in the digital age lie at the heart of its business activities. The 7,400 or so employees of Baloise therefore focus on the wishes of their customers. The best possible customer service, combined with innovative products and services, makes Baloise the first choice for people who want to feel 'simply safe'. Located at the heart of Europe, with its head office in Basel, the Baloise Group is a provider of prevention, pension, assistance and insurance solutions. Its core markets are Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. In Switzerland, with Baloise Bank SoBa, the Group also operates as a specialised financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. The Group offers innovative pension products to retail customers throughout Europe from its competence centre in Luxembourg. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange.