BIHL focuses on growth and profitability

08th March 2018
FOCUSED: Batsho Dambe-Groth charts forward a blueprint Source:The Midweek Sun


By Keikantse Lesemela - Reporter

Botswana Insurance Holding Limited (BIHL) Group Chairperson, Batsho Dambe-Groth said they continue to focus on growth and profitability for the group despite the tough trading conditions and economic uncertainty.

The group recorded 17 percent decline in profits after tax to P394 million in its year ended December 2017. Operating profit for the life business was flat on prior year resulting in an eight percent decline in the life business operating profits compared to prior year. Commenting on the published results, Dambe-Groth said they continue to focus on their key strategies of growth and profitability.

“We continue to focus on our key twin strategies of growth and profitability. However, uncertainty in the global markets is expected to continue to affect the results,” said Dambe-Groth. Net Premium Income grew by 12 percent from P2.07 billion in 2016 to P2.32 billion in 2017, with all income lines posting a growth of at least seven percent and above.

Total new business written grew 11 percent underpinned by strong single premium income performance. Recurring premium income grew by 12 percent from P1.09 billion in 2016 to P1.22 billion in 2017. “This line represents a sustainable source of profits in the long term,” said Dambe-Groth. Dambe Groth said the prospects for the economy remain mixed reflecting both international economic uncertainty as well as domestic challenges. Despite these challenges, management is focused on delivering sustainable growth and value to its stakeholders through innovation driven by commercial insights.” she said.

The group also indicated that operating profit was flat on prior year before taking out one-off separation costs related to the streamlining exercise. T he once-off project costs saw operating profit decrease from P356 million in 2016 to P328 million in 2017. During the year, the company embarked on a streamlining exercise. BIHL group comprises three business segments including Life insurance through Botswana Life Asset Management through Botswana Insurance Fund Management Limited and the General Insurance business through BIHL Insurance Company Limited.

The asset management business performed well at 18 percent above prior year due to an increase in assets under management, while general insurance business was positively impacted by lower claims and reduced operational costs. Share of profits of associates and joint ventures decreased by 47 percent due to the significant impairment of the Letshego Holdings Limited (Letshego) investment as a result of a drop in fair value.

Dambe-Groth also highlighted that the company launched a game changing life cover product named Poelo, which is steadily growing the retail new business numbers. In addition, another variation of the new life cover product, Poelo Whole of Life was launched aimed at benefiting members with a lifetime cover, with a premium payback of 120 percent after 15 years. “The launch of these products demonstrates our agility and commitment to innovation and predicting customer needs,” said Dambe-Groth adding that the Group remains well positioned in terms of capital management and solvency.

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