Baloise on course for a successful year

Basel, Baloise has consolidated its strong start to the year as it moves into the final stages of 2017. Of particular note was the performance of the attractive non-life business, which grew by a substantial 1.9 per cent compared with the prior-year period to reach CHF 2,715.6 million. Due to the sale of a closed life insurance portfolio in Germany and the still restrictive underwriting policy, the volume of premium income in the life business fell by 1.5 per cent to CHF 2,871.9 million. The total volume of business in the first nine months of 2017 totalled CHF 7,219.6 million, which was on a par with the prior-year period. Based on the performance in the first nine months, Baloise is anticipating 2017 as a whole to be a successful year.

“2017 saw the launch of the new strategic phase Simply Safe. The progress report after nine months is extremely encouraging not only for our day-to-day business but also with regard to the advances being made in our digitalisation projects. Through a number of initiatives, Baloise is securing a position as a leading insurer in the field of digitalisation and digital transformation. I am proud to report that we were recently awarded the Swiss Insurance Industry’s innovation prize in recognition of our creative approaches.”

Gert De Winter, Group CEO

Robust growth in non-life

Premium income from the non-life business amounted to CHF 2,715.6 million, a substantial increase of 1.9 per cent. Baloise in Belgium reported impressive growth of 4.1 per cent to CHF 752.1 million, which reaffirms its position as the second major pillar within the Group. In Germany, the volume of premium income rose by 2.7 per cent to CHF 636.8 million, and in Luxembourg it increased by 2.4 per cent to CHF 96.8 million. Growth in the non-life target segments was particularly encouraging in Germany, however the claims resulting from storms in the country proved to be a challenge in the third and fourth quarter.

Switzerland reported modest growth of 0.2 per cent to reach CHF 1,227.8 million.

For 2017 as a whole, Baloise is expecting to achieve a strong combined ratio in the non-life segment that falls within the target range of 90 and 95 per cent. This would once again confirm the robust operational profitability of its non-life business.

Strong life business

At CHF 2,871.9 million, the volume of life premiums was down by 1.5 per cent on the prior-year period. This was primarily due to the sale of a closed life insurance portfolio in Germany. The underwriting policy was still very selective. Bolstered by a slight easing in the interest-rate environment, the life business is well on track to deliver a solid profit contribution. The partially autonomous pension solutions business in Switzerland performed very well again. Baloise’s Perspectiva is one of the fastest-growing Swiss pension foundations. It focuses on tailored pension solutions for small and medium-sized companies.

Investment-type premiums: strong growth for Baloise’s Luxembourg business

Investment-type premiums were down slightly in the first nine months of the year because of seasonal factors. Luxembourg, which delivered substantial growth of 7.8 per cent, was still the biggest contributor to this target segment. Over the year as a whole, Baloise expects to at least match the strong result of 2016 for investment-type premiums.

Business volume as at 30 September 2017 (YTD)

CHF million, Change compared with Q1–Q3 2016 in CHF (%)

  Life Investment-type
premiums
Non-life Total
Switzerland 2,441.4
1.1%
71.9
-14.5%
1,227.8
0.2%
3,741.1
0.4%
Germany 269.1
-21.7%
154.4
0.2%
636.8
2.7%
1,060.3
-5.1%
Belgium 100.5
0.4%
241.3
-27.6%
752.1
4.1%
1,093.9
-5.3%
Luxembourg 60.9
6.1%
1,164.5
7.8%
96.8
2.4%
1,322.2
7.3%
Other -
-
-
-
2.1
-41.1%
2.1
-41.1%
Total 2,871.9
-1.5%
1,632.1
-1.2%
2,715.6
1.9%
7,219.6
-0.2%

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 7,300 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.