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 7,900 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, 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.
Basel, March 10, 2022. “In 2021, we successfully completed the first stage of our Simply Safe strategy. I am delighted with the results and feel very proud. We made tremendous strides with our three strategic targets in relation to employees, customers and shareholders while also reporting robust results from operations and profitable growth over the entire period. This is a very positive outcome given that we faced huge challenges during this strategic period in the shape of two once-in-a-century events: the COVID-19 pandemic and the storms in summer 2021. At the same time, we pushed ahead with Baloise’s cultural and digital transformation. We collaborate more efficiently, have become faster, make greater use of digital technologies, have reduced complexity for our customers and, by establishing the Home and Mobility ecosystems, have laid the foundations for our future business model. The rebranding project that we recently initiated will give a new public face to these efforts. Baloise is demonstrating that it can be successful over the long term. Against the backdrop of the exceptional NatCat events that took place in 2021, I would like to thank all employees, who worked tirelessly to support our customers day in day out and whose efforts enabled Baloise to achieve success,” says CEO Gert De Winter, commenting on Baloise’s annual financial results.
2021 annual financial results in brief
- Profit attributable to shareholders for 2021 amounted to a very pleasing CHF 588.4 million – a year-on-year increase of 35.5 per cent (2020: CHF 434.3 million) – despite an unprecedented level of expenses as a result of the storms during the summer. All operating segments and units contributed to this improved result. In the life insurance business, we also benefited from the uptrend in the capital markets and the easing of the interest-rate situation.
- There was strong growth in the volume of business, which rose by 7.4 per cent year on year to CHF 9,591.1 million (2020: CHF 8,926.5 million). This was driven by strong organic growth in all of the national subsidiaries in target segments and, in particular, the acquisition of the Athora portfolio in Belgium, which was fully included in the figures for the first time. Moreover, there was a significant year-on-year increase in policies with investment-type premiums in the ‘freedom of service’ business.
- In the non-life business, the volume of premiums rose by a healthy 6.9 per cent to CHF 4,063.4 million (2020: CHF 3,802.5 million). This equated to an increase of 6.2 per cent in local currency terms. The rise was primarily attributable to organic growth, but there was also a contribution from the acquisition of the Athora portfolio.
- The net combined ratio stood at a solid 92.6 per cent (2020: 91.2 per cent) despite the substantial expenses of around CHF 120 million net, which we incurred as a result of the unprecedented storms in summer 2021 and which added 3.2 percentage points to the ratio. Higher profit on claims reserves softened the impact of the natural disasters. The combined ratio was therefore comfortably within the target range of 90 per cent to 95 per cent in every year of the 2017–2021 strategic phase. EBIT in the non-life business was on a par with the prior year at CHF 303.9 million (2020: CHF 302.2 million).
- In the life business, gross premiums rose by 3.0 per cent to CHF 3,389.7 million (2020: CHF 3,291.3 million) despite a selective underwriting policy for occupational pension products. EBIT in the life business amounted to an exceptionally good CHF 406.7 million (2020: CHF 282.2 million) and reflected the very good position of the life business in the current situation. The significant improvement of 44.1 per cent compared with 2020 was due to the very strong uptrend in the capital markets in 2021, the easing of the interest-rate situation, the ongoing optimisation of the business mix and an improved technical result. If the positive trend in respect of interest rates and the capital markets is sustained, the earnings power of the life business will continue to benefit. The new business margin in the life business stood at a very healthy 39.0 per cent in 2021 (2020: 42.7 per cent), primarily thanks to the ongoing optimisation of the business mix.
- Asset management delivered a net return on insurance assets of 2.2 per cent (2020: 2.1 per cent). Net inflows from external customers increased once again, rising by CHF 986.5 million. This means that the total volume of new customer assets acquired in the 2017–2021 phase was CHF 4.3 billion. The target for the next phase, 2022–2025, is to acquire an additional CHF 10 billion or so in new customer assets.
- Baloise remains very well capitalised. Consolidated equity went up by 4.5 per cent year on year to reach CHF 7,299.9 million at the end of 2021 (31 December 2020: CHF 6,985.7 million). In June 2021, Standard & Poor’s confirmed its rating of A+ for the Baloise Group. In the Swiss Solvency Test (SST)*, a ratio of over 210 per cent is expected as at 1 January 2022.
- The Board of Directors of Bâloise Holding Ltd recognises the success of Simply Safe. In the period between the strategy’s announcement at the 2016 Investor Day and the end of 2021, a total shareholder return of 51 per cent was generated. The Board of Directors intends to propose to the 2021 Annual General Meeting that the dividend be raised by CHF 0.6, or 9.4 per cent, to CHF 7.00 per share.
- In 2021, sustainability efforts were embedded more deeply in the Company’s business processes. The Baloise value creation model has been the basis of our long-term value generation in relation to employees, customers, society, the environment, partners and investors since 2018. While excellent progress has been made in the area of responsible investment, we are now also turning our attention to our underwriting processes. We are thus paying more attention to which risks we are able to insure in future and believe that we can thus also help to nudge the behaviour of our customers towards acting in a more sustainable way.
- The expansion of the Home and Mobility ecosystems represents further progress with our innovation initiatives. In 2021, the new products and services generated a business volume of over CHF 70 million. Baloise’s digital insurer FRIDAY notched up premiums of CHF 52.7 million (2020: CHF 31.3 million). The innovation initiatives are expected to contribute CHF 350 million to the total volume of business by 2025.
- The oneBaloise rebranding project got under way in January. The efforts under our Simply Safe corporate strategy will be reflected in a new public face from autumn 2022 onward, with all country-specific brands being unified under the Baloise name.
2021 annual financial results in detail
- More information about the preliminary financial results can be found at www.baloise.com
- The 2021 annual report will be available on our website from 29 March 2022: https://www.baloise.com/en/home/investors/publications/financial-statements.html
- Thursday, 10 March 2022: Conference to present the preliminary financial results
09:15 – 10:15 CET: Annual results media conference in Basel
Microsoft Teams Videocall
Dial-in number: +41 43 210 57 19, conference call ID: 166 082 963
11:30 – 13:00 CET: Conference call for analysts
Dial-in number: +41 (0) 58 310 50 00
- Tuesday, 29 March 2022
Publication of the 2021 annual reports of Bâloise Holding Ltd and Baloise Bank SoBa