Baloise closed the first six months of 2023 with a solid profit attributable to shareholders of CHF 205.7 million, which was slightly lower than in the prior-year period (H1 2022: CHF 214.7 million). The decrease was attributable to lower profits in the life business as a result of changed external factors as well as higher costs and negative effects in respect of currencies. The good growth in the non-life business is encouraging. The combined ratio stood at 87.3 per cent, underlining the profitability of the non-life business, which continues to be excellent. Premiums in the life business declined, particularly in respect of occupational pensions. The business is shifting towards partially autonomous solutions. Baloise’s partially autonomous solution, Perspectiva, has grown further and now has a customer base of around 4,800 companies. The volume of business was slightly lower than in the prior-year period at CHF 5,339.9 million, a decrease of 1.5 per cent that was due to exchange-rate effects (H1 2022: CHF 5,418.4 million).
In the asset management business, net new external customer assets managed by Baloise amounted to CHF 617.1 million despite the challenging conditions in the first half of the year. Third-party assets thus rose to CHF 13.7 billion. The total assets under management, including all insurance assets, stood at CHF 89.0 billion as at 30 June 2023. Baloise’s capital adequacy remains comfortable, as recently confirmed by Standard & Poor’s in August 2023, when it reaffirmed
its rating of A+ for the Baloise Group. It awarded this rating in recognition of Baloise’s excellent capitalisation, high operational profitability, solid risk management and robust competitive position in its profitable core markets. Baloise shares closed the first half of 2023 at CHF 131.40, meaning that the share price was down by 7.9 per cent compared with the closing price as at 31 December 2022 of CHF 142.70. The leading Swiss index, the SMI, rose by 5.1 per cent over the same period. Baloise shares picked up again at the start of the second half of the year and, as at the middle of September, the share price was slightly higher than at the end of 2022.
«We remain on course in respect of the core elements of our Simply Safe: Season 2 strategic journey.»
In the first six months of 2023, we concluded personnel changes within the Corporate Executive Committee and at the national Baloise companies and, with the new line-up, are ready to tackle any current and future challenges. Michael Müller succeeded Group CEO Gert De Winter with effect from 1 July after the latter stepped down. On the same date, Clemens Markstein became CEO of Baloise in Switzerland and therefore joined the Corporate Executive Committee. The appointment of Dr Christine Theodorovics as CEO of Baloise in Luxembourg at the start of June 2023 and the appointment of Christophe Hamal as CEO of Baloise in Belgium last October marked the end of a successful process to replace their two retired predecessors. The persistently high level of inflation in European countries, including the price rises in Switzerland, is affecting our business. The increased cost of goods and services is also having a knock-on effect on claims incurred that cannot be immediately offset by higher premiums. We are carefully monitoring these developments and taking appropriate steps. At present, it is very difficult to predict what impact the central banks’ measures to tackle inflation will have and how the economy will fare in Europe. We are following economic developments closely and will adjust our strategy accordingly where necessary. We are confident that we remain on course in respect of the core elements of our Simply Safe: Season 2 strategic journey. This includes fine-tuning the foundations of our core business to make it more efficient and effective, building on our existing strengths and reliably generating cash: essentially the basis for maintaining Baloise’s attractive and sustainable dividend policy.
Basel, September 2023
Dr Thomas von Planta
Chairman of the Board of Directors