Premiums. Downturn in activity for Baloise over the first six months.

The insurer Baloise saw its results fall back at the end of the first half, both in terms of premiums and profitability. Management has nevertheless confirmed its outlook for the coming years.

The Rhine insurer attributes the contraction of its premium income in the first six months of the year to a cautious approach to new business underwriting. (archive)

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The Basel group generated between January and the end of June a total volume of business down 7.5% over one year to 5.44 billion francs. In the non-life business, gross premiums fell by 1.2% to 2.59 billion and in the life segment by 6.8% to 2.07 billion, he detailed Thursday in a press release.

The company explained this contraction in income by negative currency effects, as well as a restrictive underwriting policy in life insurance and lower investment-type premiums.

The Rhine insurance company, on the other hand, managed to improve its combined ratio, which measures the ratio between claims costs and general expenses in relation to premiums, by 0.4 points to 91.9%, after a particularly marked year 2021. by bad weather. The insurer had also had to face during the period under review the costs caused by a winter storm in Belgium.

In its two core businesses, damage and accident insurance and life insurance, the group recorded an operating result (Ebit) down respectively by 2.5% to 162.1 million and by 8. 3% to 178.5 million.

Income from investments fell by 16.2% to 544.3 million, under the effect of market volatility. In the first half, consolidated net profit fell by 4.9% to 285.6 million.

Equity under pressure

Equity contracted by a third. This is explained by the rise in interest rates, said Carsten Stolz, director of finance, at a press conference.

“When it comes to capital, we emphasize the SST ratio,” he stressed. “This one progressed over the semester.” At the end of June, Baloise posted a rate of 230% in the Swiss Solvency Test (SST), compared to 220% at the end of 2021. The rise in rates also makes it easier to satisfy rate guarantees.

Baloise has confirmed that it is “on track” to generate 2 billion in cash by 2025, of which 60% to 80% will be paid out as a dividend, and to acquire 1.5 million new customers.

Analysts at the Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB) said the Rhine insurer had presented “solid” key figures, but nevertheless influenced by negative currency effects and weak investment gains. “Operational development is however good” and capital, with a solvency ratio (SST) of around 230%, “very good”, they underlined in a comment.

Vontobel released the same findings, calling the half-year results “strong” and “unsurprising.” The dividend yield is attractive, like other Swiss insurers, underlined the Zurich management bank.

On the stock market, investors did not appreciate these figures, which were below notice. At 10:46 a.m., the Baloise title fell 5.8% to 142.90 francs, while the SPI index lost 0.59%.

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