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Helvetia impresses with profitable, above-market growth and strong technical results

08.09.2022 | Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR
Video message from Philipp Gmür, CEO Helvetia Group

The most important details about the 2022 interim financial statements at a glance: 

Profitable growth and strong technical results 

  • Helvetia increased its business volume by 1.1% on a currency-adjusted basis to CHF 6,799.9 million. The main growth driver was the non-life business with above-market, currency-adjusted growth of 6.6% in all the country markets. 
  • The IFRS result after tax amounted to CHF 219.5 million. In a challenging environment, the good result was underpinned by successful technical performance in all segments and business areas. 
  • In the non-life business, Helvetia achieved an increase in its technical result to CHF 183.3 million, thanks to the good quality of its portfolio and successful growth in attractive business lines. In life insurance, the margin after costs of CHF 216.1 million remained stable at the prior-year level and showed improved savings and cost results in particular. 

Excellent capitalisation 

  • Helvetia has outstanding capitalisation with an "A+" rating awarded by the S&P Global Ratings (S&P) rating agency as well as an estimated SST ratio in excess of 280% at the end of June 2022 (1 January 2022: 260%).  
  • The strength of Helvetia's balance sheet is also evident in its comfortable economic dividend capacity of CHF 0.8 billion (as at 31 December 2021). 

helvetia 20.25 strategy: improved business mix and strengthened international orientation 

  • As part of its successful strategy implementation, Helvetia reduced the share of life business in total business volume through the sale of the life insurance company Sa Nostra Vida and increased its share in Caser at the same time. As a result, non-life business has again become more significant. 
  • With regard to further growth in the international specialty insurance and reinsurance business as well as in the area of embedded insurance, Helvetia has realigned its business in Liechtenstein under the name Helvetia Global Solutions. 
  • In accordance with the strategy, the fee business developed dynamically with currency-adjusted growth of 22.3%. 

"Helvetia can look back on a successful first half of 2022. We continued along the growth path of recent years, gained market share across the board and achieved strong technical results in doing so. The implementation of our helvetia 20.25 strategy was also very pleasing. We further improved the business mix in Spain and increased our share in Caser. Furthermore, we are successfully accessing additional sources of income with the fee business", explains Philipp Gmür, Group CEO of Helvetia. 

Good earnings thanks to extremely robust technical results  
Operating in a challenging environment, Helvetia generated a strong IFRS result after tax of CHF 219.5 million in the first half of 2022 (first half of 2021: CHF 262.4 million). This good result was based on extremely robust technical results in all three segments Switzerland, Europe and Specialty Markets. Helvetia increased its technical result in the non-life business to CHF 183.3 million (first half of 2021: CHF 150.2 million). The reason for the improvement was the very good portfolio quality and the successful growth in attractive business lines. In life insurance, Helvetia posted a stable margin after costs of CHF 216.1 million (first half of 2021: CHF 223.3 million). Stronger savings and cost results contributed in particular to that. 

Meanwhile, the investment results in the non-life and life business were impacted by financial market developments. These were shaped by uncertainties and volatility in the first half of 2022 relative to the strong performance in the previous year. As a result, the Group's IFRS result after tax was somewhat lower overall than in the successful prior-year period. 

Non-life business and fee business post significant growth 
The Helvetia Group successfully continued on its growth path with a focus on profitable business areas during the first half of 2022. The business volume amounted to CHF 6,799.9 million (first half of 2021: CHF 6,940.6 million). On a currency-adjusted basis, this represents an increase of 1.1%. 

Overall, the Group's non-life business proved a strong growth driver with currency-adjusted growth of 6.6% to CHF 4,170.5 million. In this business area, Helvetia posted gains in all segments on a broad basis across various lines of business. Growth exceeded the market in all country markets. Helvetia was thus again able to expand its market shares in its profitable core business. 

In life insurance, business volume amounted to CHF 2,629.4 million (–6.7% in original currency). Here, Helvetia is continuing to pursue its strategy with a focus on capital-light business. For example, the business volume with investment-linked insurance products in the individual life business in Switzerland, Germany and Austria grew considerably, while Helvetia, in line with its strategy, was cautious in selling traditional guarantee products. 

The fee business again developed strongly in accordance with the helvetia 20.25 strategy. Fee and commission income was 22.3% up over the prior-year period in original currency at CHF 193.4 million. Helvetia is making very good progress towards achieving its goal of annual fee income of over CHF 350 million by the end of the strategy period. The successful growth can chiefly be attributed to the expansion of the Health & Care ecosystem in Spain and commission income from the Helvetia (CH) Swiss Property Fund. 

Improved combined ratio thanks to a resilient portfolio and lower costs 
In the non-life business, the Group net combined ratio came to 93.6% (first half of 2021: 94.5%) and thus improved by just about one percentage point. The value is within the strategic target range of 92 to 94 percent. Overall, the non-life business posted strong technical development. The portfolio thus proved resilient in the face of growing inflationary pressure and the further normalisation of claims frequencies in individual business lines following the pandemic. The non-life business also developed positively on the cost side, as the ongoing efficiency measures made their presence felt as did economies of scale due to the profitable growth. 

New business margin improves further 
The new business margin rose to 3.4% (first half of 2021: 3.0% without Caser), driven by a more beneficial business mix and higher interest rates. It thus exceeded the target range of 2-3%.  

Strong capitalisation and comfortable economic dividend capacity 
Helvetia's capitalisation remains excellent. Helvetia estimates that its SST ratio rose to above 280% as at 30 June 2022 (1 January 2022: 260%). The strong capitalisation is also reflected in the "A+" rating of rating agency S&P Global Ratings (S&P) as well as the comfortable economic dividend capacity of CHF 0.8 billion (as at 31 December 2021). 

Successful strategy implementation enables further profitable growth 
A prominent feature of the helvetia 20.25 strategy is profitable growth: with the sale of Sa Nostra Vida in Spain, Helvetia reduced the share of life business in its total business volume, which reduces the capital requirement. At the same time, Helvetia increased its stake in the Spanish insurer Caser to 80%. With both transactions, Helvetia has strengthened the significance of the non-life business and will in future increasingly benefit from the dynamic growth of Caser in this business area.  

Helvetia is developing into a European financial services provider for insurance and pension provision. As announced in March, the online insurer Smile is being rolled out in European markets, starting in Austria. Moreover, the business in Liechtenstein under the name Helvetia Global Solutions has been realigned in view of further international growth opportunities. The focus is being placed on the international specialty insurance and reinsurance business as well as the area of embedded insurance. 

A further strategic priority is taking new opportunities, especially as regards the growth of fee business. Helvetia is thereby accessing new sources of income, differentiating its business mix and making itself more independent of interest rate developments. "The dynamic growth of the fee business is a particularly good example of the strong further development of Helvetia", explains Philipp Gmür. 

Improved sustainability rating 
Helvetia wants to contribute to the sustainable development of both the economy and society. Various sustainability successes have been achieved in the past. These achievements are also recognised externally, as shown by the recent upgrading of our ESG rating to "A" by MSCI.

Key Figures                                                                                       

Contact information
Philipp Schüpbach
Head of Investor Relations
Phone: +41 58 280 59 23
Jonas Grossniklaus
Head of Media Relations
Phone: +41 58 280 50 33