Baloise describes its results as “solid” in the face of the ongoing economic crisis. Photo: Shutterstock

Baloise describes its results as “solid” in the face of the ongoing economic crisis. Photo: Shutterstock

Insurance group Baloise on 9 March published its provisional annual results for 2022, describing its results as “solid” in the face of the persistent challenges the global economy faced.

Baloise sees the past fiscal year in a positive light. “Baloise achieved growth in local currency in the attractive non-life segment and improved its contribution to the result despite a consolidation of reserves to cope with the effects of inflation. We achieved an outstanding result in the life segment,” group CEO Gert De Winter said in a statement.

Nevertheless, its turnover decreased from €9,677m to €8,839.6m from 2021 to 2022. In CHF, this represents a decrease of 8.7%. This drop is “due to shifts in the traditional life segment with occupational pensions, lower volumes in the investment-linked life insurance business and currency effects,” the group explains in its statement.

Shareholder benefit also declined from €593,68m in 2021 to €552,93m in the following year. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) also decreased by 2.4% in Swiss francs.

Non-life Ebit improved

The non-life segment contributed notably to the results, according to the insurer. “Positive organic growth was achieved in all markets after adjustment for currency effects. In Swiss francs, this resulted in a decline of 2.3 % to CHF 3,969.1 million (2021: CHF 4,063.4m), with growth of 2.4 % in local currency,” reads the report. In Luxembourg, gross premium turnover witnessed a 2.7% growth in euros, the local currency, but a decline of 4.5% after conversion into Swiss francs. The EBIT for the non-life segment improved by 5.9% in francs, underlined the group.

For life products, Baloise registered a drop of 13.3% in francs and 10.6% in local currency, which it ascribes to a trend in the Swiss insurance world “towards a preference for semi-autonomous solutions over the full insurance model.” In the grand duchy, the insurer recorded a drop in activities too--from around €75m to around €67,5m. At €380m, “the EBIT of the life segment could again be maintained at a high level in 2022,” the group was pleased to report.

Dividends increased, again

As a testimony of the group’s solidity, it has chosen to increase the value of dividends by CHF 0.4 per share, despite the negative impact of increased interest rates on its consolidated equity. Down from around €5,066m to around €4,593m over one year, the consolidated own funds were impacted by a decrease in the valuation of fixed-rate investments brought on by the high interest rates.

Baloise’s board of directors “is confident” of the group’s continued success, it said, increasing therefore the value of dividends from CHF7 to CHF7.4 per share. “Bâloise has increased its dividend thirteen times in the last 20 years,” the insurer underlined in its report.