GABORONE – The Botswana Insurance Holding Limited (BIHL) Group’s financial results for the year ended 31 December 2022 were significantly bolstered by the increased operating profits of its life and advisory business, Botswana Life. Botswana Life’s operating profit increased by 194% year-on-year to P399 million, with a major contributor of this being lower mortality and thus lower claims since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Botswana Life value of a new business, which represents the present value of future profits from new business premiums written during the year, decreased by 9% compared to the prior year due to low new business volumes and lower margins. Additionally, net premium income declined by 2% due to low business volumes across all income lines, yet in the first half of 2022, it declined by 7% from P1.56 billion in 2021 to P1.45 billion.
The recurring premium income showed resilience increasing by 1% from P1.64 billion to P1.79 billion. The recurring premiums represent a sustainable source of profit in the long term. On another note, the Single premiums decreased by 5% from P1.37 billion to P1.31 billion, hampered by ongoing inflationary pressures and increased interest rates which negatively impacted household income; banks tightened their lending, resulting in reduced credit life premiums.
At the start of 2022, Botswana Life started a process of disposing of its 37.62% shareholding in FSG limited. The transaction was concluded on the 7th of February 2023 following regulatory approval and fulfilment of all conditions precedent. As per the key terms of the agreement, the cash consideration of P250 million was received.
“We remain optimistic that the other indicators will improve over time, and we will continue to implement our digitisation strategy in order to achieve additional top-line growth and margin expansions across all businesses. The significant growth of Botswana Life’s operating profit by 194% year-on-year to P399 million is indeed a cornerstone to the fact that there were lower mortality claims compared to 2021 when we experienced elevated COVID-19 claims which have since decreased,” said the BIHL Group CEO, Catherine Lesetedi.
The BIHL Group also saw strong contributions from other subsidiary businesses, allowing for overall pleasing performance. This includes an increase of 56% to P615 million on Profit attributable to equity holders, 9% to P5.76 billion (Dec 2021: P5.33 billion) on Embedded value, 16.9% (Dec 2021: 12.0%) on Group Embedded Value and last an improvement on paid as dividends during the year which increased by P405 million (Dec 2021: P195 million).
“In addition to our already established distribution channels, we continue to accelerate the process of digitisation and realise operational online streaming of sales distribution processes (end-to-end), customer self-service, and collaborative e-payments platforms. This is one of the factors contributing to the increase in our operational earnings and being more appealing to our customers through our technologically advanced products such as the Botswana Life App. This is an application that allows our customers to access our services anywhere and at any time. Of course, we have also made structural changes at Executive level, streamlining this area of the business for greater efficiencies and better line of sight from the Group. This is key to safeguarding a stronger future from now,” concluded Botswana Life CEO, Ronald Samuels.