BIHL Group Twin Strategy Continues to Deliver in the Midst of a Toughened Economic Environment

GABORONE -  One of Botswana’s leading financial services operations, Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) Group, continues to deliver on its twin strategy of growth and profitability. Group CEO, Mrs. Catherine Lesetedi-Letegele outlined BIHL’s financial results for the year ended 31 December 2016 and shared key updates before key stakeholders at a recent engagement hosted by the Group.

Said, Group Chair, Mrs. Batsho Dambe-Groth, “2016 was a challenging year economically- both in the domestic and global markets – and our financial results partly reflect these market conditions. In the midst of these external factors, we continued to successfully deliver on our twin strategy of growth and profitability. We have maintained our established financial position, especially in terms of capital solvency. We remain confident in the Group’s ability to maintain strong dividend returns, which will continue to be among our top priorities. A significant shift in the allocation of shareholders capital towards investments in associated financial services providers was realised during this period and it is expected that this will enhance overall performance and performance predictability over the medium to long term. ”

Key highlights for the year under review are as follows:

·         Assets under management increased by 22% to P25.9 billion

·         The Business is well capitalised, required capital for the life business is covered 6.6 times (December 2015: 8.6 times)

·         Embedded value increased by 4% to P4.3 billion from P4.2 billion in 2015

·         P342.9 million paid as dividends during the period, an increase 22% of P 281.1 million from 2015

·         Final dividend proposed of  P 188.3 million (gross of tax) from P188 million in 2015

·         Group revenues stood at P2.1 billion from P2.4 billion in the corresponding period, a slight decrease of 14%.

Concerning the life insurance business, despite the challenging economic environment, the quality of new business written saw the Value of New Business, which represents the present value of future profits from new business premiums written remain stable at 99% of prior year.  Operating profit was 9% lower than prior year showing resilience despite the significant dip in single premiums.  The launch of  3 very unique new products during the first half of 2016 in the life insurance business, began to yield positive results. The affluent offering which opened its doors to business in the first half of 2016 is beginning to impact on some of the untapped segments in the Botswana markets. 

The asset management business, as a result of notable assets under management growth, ended the year on a positive note despite the volatile global markets achieving a 25% increase in operating profit compared to 2015. And as the year progressed, so did the approach to expanding the Business. The Group further leveraged its strength in numbers and increased its shareholding of Letshego Holdings Limited from 23.17% to 26.28% as at 31st December 2016.

Furthermore, to maintain its track towards continued business growth, BIHL will drive a continuation of the initiatives already underway to enhance internal processes, contain claims costs, with an increased emphasis on building efficiencies around operating expenses. As the domestic economy is expected to grow by to 4.2% percent in 2017 as compared to 2.9% in 2016 and inflation is expected to remain stable at 3%, favouring loose monetary policy and fiscal stimulus; the business expects its growth prospects to improve as well.

Concluded Mrs. Dambe-Groth, “We continue to focus on our key strategies of growth and profitability to mitigate uncertainties in the global markets and in the local economy. We would like to thank all our Clients, Brokers, Agents, Staff and other Stakeholders for the on-going partnership and support. We remain committed to constantly improving ourselves and driving strong results while in turn making a sustainable impact in every community the Group operates. ”

Officially listed in 1991, with an issue that was over-subscribed by 273%, BIHL Group is one of the veteran companies, ranking third largest on the local bourse. The Group’s share price has grown in value, by approximately 98% since the Group listed. BIHL share price is currently valued at approximately P17.67.