We have extracted the financial summary from the full year abridged report of Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange BIHL.bw. Botswana Insurance is a major financials services group in Botswana operating through three subsidiaries.

The following is an excerpt from the full year abridged report;

LIFE INSURANCE BUSINESS
Botswana Life Insurance Limited’s financial year ended 31 December 2018 remained stable despite a challenging economic environment with Net Premium income of P 2.35 billion. Recurring premium income grew by 8% from P1.25 billion to P1.35 billion representing a sustainable source of profits in the long term.

The value of new business, which represents the present value of future profits from new business premiums written during the year, decreased by 1% from prior year owing to increased pressure on margins. Operating Profit improved by 11% over prior year due to improved profitability resulting from reduced new business strain on the individual life book and improved claims experience on the credit life book.

During the year the business launched yet another innovative product, the Botswana Life International Investment Plan (BLIIP) for its high net worth clientele. The product which is a first of its kind in Botswana is a USD denominated offshore investment plan. The game changer product has an added feature where the client can self-manage their funds by having credentials to access their investment portfolio online. Launched on the 1st November 2018, this product is an expansion to the Affluent Client Value Proposition (CVP) that affords bespoke channels for

Botswana Life clients to manage and grow their wealth. The launch of this product demonstrates our agility and commitment to innovation and addressing customer needs. Botswana Life Insurance Limited ’s new Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ronald Samuels together with his team have embarked on a 5-year strategy to transform the business through an aggressive focus on revenue growth and profitability, customer delight and distribution excellence

The prospects for the economy remain mixed reflecting both international economic uncertainty as well as domestic challenges albeit the latter is showing signs of improvement. Despite these challenges Management is focused on delivering sustainable growth and value to its stakeholders through innovation driven by commercial insights.

ASSET MANAGEMENT BUSINESS
BIFM Group’s operating profit showed a year on year decline of 3%, an improvement from the half year performance which showed a 7% decrease year on year, demonstrating the group’s resilience in a tough operating environment. While income performance in both BIFM and Zambia showed a year on year increase, the businesses had to incur some business-critical expenses, resulting in higher costs in 2018, which coupled with an unfavourable Kwacha performance, weighed down the operating profit number. Total assets under management grew by 3% year on year to P27.5 billion, broken down into: BIFM P23.2 billion and Zambia P4.3 billion.

SHORT TERM INSURANCE BUSINESS
Despite pressures on revenue generation, Legal Guard has achieved an operating profit of P4.1million for the year, up from a P1.4million for 2017. This has been achieved as the benefits of initiatives which began in prior years continue to be realised. The business has continued to improve its claims administration processes resulting in a significant decline in claims costs. The business has also achieved a 9% year on year decline in operating expenses following the restructuring exercise undertaken in 2017 and a continuing focus on managing operating costs.

Looking forward, Legal Guard will continue to focus on the implementation of its current strategic plan with emphasis on arresting and reversing the recent trend in top line performance. Legal Guard also continues to focus on improving internal processes to enhance business agility and improve customer service.

CAPITAL MANAGEMENT AND SOLVENCY
The Group remains well positioned in terms of capital management and solvency. This was taken into consideration by the board when resolving a final dividend. The board has confidence in the Group’s ability to maintain dividends at this level while ensuring that its capital position remains solid and aligned with future capital requirements whilst sustaining healthy levels of Return on Group Equity Value. The issuance of an asset management license for BIFM saw a release of some of the statutory capital held by the company under the insurance license; the Board has resolved to pay out this released capital to shareholders as a special dividend.

LOOKING AHEAD
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. We would like to thank all our Clients, Brokers,Agents, Staff and other Stakeholders for the on-going partnerships and support and look forward to serving them in the future.