Thursday, April 25, 2024

BIHL profits up by 15% 

The country’s most diversified financial services group, Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), reported stronger profit as insurance claims dropped but warned of a tough operating environment ahead.

The group, listed on Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), released its financials for 2022 this week, showing improvement in the bottom-line. BIHL’s total revenue grew from P3.38 billion to P3.9 billion, while net insurance and investment contract benefits and claims came at P2.4 billion, and expenses increased slightly to P1 billion, resulting in P522 million before adding other income from companies BIHL has shares in. 

With addition of profits from the other companies, BIHL’s profit before tax jumped to P759 million, and profit after tax increased by 56 percent to P614.5 million.

BIHL owns Botswana Life Insurance Limited (BLIL), which has nearly 70 percent of the life insurance market share, and Botswana Insurance Fund Management (BIFM), one of the country’s top asset management company. 

Botswana Life’s profit nearly quadrupled in 2022, surging from 2021’s P103.1 million to P393 million. BIFM’s profit was P130 million, up from the prior year’s P55.6 million.

The group also holds significant shareholding in other companies. In the general insurance segment which provides short term insurance, legal insurance and reinsurance, BIHL is present through a 50 percent interest in Teledimo which wholly owns Botswana Insurance Company Limited (BIC) and BIHL Insurance Company Limited. Teledimo also holds 66 percent in Grand RE Tanzania.

BIHL is also a major shareholder in the country’s biggest microlender Letshego, holding 27.91 percent of the company through Botswana Life. Outside Botswana, BIHL has a 25.1 percent interest in NICO Holdings which is a diversified financial service group based in Malawi with interest in banking and insurance.

Last year, BIHL sold its entire stake in Funeral Services Group (FSG), which has a considerable market share in the funerals market. The 37.62 percent shareholding in FSG was disposed for P250 million to local private equity firm Africa Lighthouse Capital (ALC). 

The share of profits from the other companies soared to P795 million last year, higher than the P431 million in 2021. 

With 2022’s strong financial performance, BIHL is paying P405 million in dividends to shareholders, an increase from the P195 million paid in 2021. The group’s top shareholders include South Africa’s financial behemoth Sanlam, which owns 58.43 percent of BIHL, while Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) holds 19.92 percent.

“The group faced challenges during the year under review brought about by high inflation which is not expected to return to normalcy in the short term. Management therefore expects the pressure on costs and household income to underpin key decisions going into the future,” the group’s board of directors said in a statement accompanying results. 

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