Baloise expects to achieve a substantial profit for the period

Basel, The Baloise Group expects to report a profit of more than CHF 340 million for the first half of 2014, which represents a year-on-year increase of more than 40 per cent. The key drivers of this good result were the strong income from life insurance, the solid operating results in non-life insurance, and the profitable growth achieved in the Company's core markets.

The growth in earnings from life insurance business was especially pleasing. The life insurance business earned encouraging levels of income in the first half of 2014 despite the sharp decline in interest rates. The life insurance operating segment was boosted by gains on interest hedging instruments and the strengthening of reserves that had already taken place in previous periods due to the low level of interest rates.

The performance of the non-life business was attributable to the exceptionally low level of claims incurred in Switzerland and the pleasing operating profits achieved in the Company's international markets. The Baloise Group expects to report a net combined ratio of just over 93 per cent for the first six months of 2014.

Baloise generated impressive growth in its core markets and target segments in the first six months of 2014.

These strong half-year financial results reaffirm the strategic approach adopted by Baloise. By focusing on attractive core markets, rigorously implementing its target-customer management policies and offering innovative supplementary services around safety and security, Baloise is excellently placed to meet its targets of a combined ratio of between 93 per cent and 96 per cent, a new business margin in excess of 10 per cent and a return on equity of between 8 per cent and 12 per cent.

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the Baloise Group is a European provider of insurance and pension solutions and has positioned itself as a market player that offers an intelligent 'Safety World' prevention strategy. In Switzerland the Company operates as a focused financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. It also has a market presence in Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. Its distribution network includes its own sales organisation as well as brokers and other partners. The Company uses its competence centre in Luxembourg to run its business in innovative pension products for private customers throughout Europe. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange. The Baloise Group employs some 7,400 people.