Athora Netherlands Publishes Interim Results 2021
8 September 2021
Continued execution of our focused and sustainable strategy
On track in lowering the cost base and repositioning the asset portfolio
- Net Underlying Result of EUR 151 million (1H20: EUR 141 million), driven by a higher investment interest income following repositioning of the asset portfolio, partly offset by a lower result on mortality
- Gross premiums of EUR 888 million (1H20: EUR 937 million) due to lower individual life premiums and a shift from traditional pension products to the Zwitserleven PPI
- Net inflows of EUR 123 million (1H20: EUR 92 million) for the Zwitserleven PPI consistent with the strategic ambition to grow in pensions
- Operating expenses were slightly higher as a result of one-off costs related to the Strategy Review and other technical projects. Nonetheless, there was continued progress in reducing the overall operating cost base
- Net Result IFRS of -/- EUR 110 million (1H20: -/- EUR 138 million), the improvement is driven by a higher result on hedges and an absence of one-offs in 2021
- Athora Netherlands successfully issued EUR 300 million subordinated Tier 2 notes in April
- Solvency II ratio of Athora Netherlands of 157% (YE20: 161%) was resilient despite challenging market conditions and the capital deployed for asset repositioning
- Solvency II ratio of SRLEV at 156% (YE20: 163%) was impacted by similar factors
- As per 1st of July, SRLEV signed an additional longevity reinsurance transaction on its individual life portfolio which had an 8%-points positive impact on the Solvency II ratio resulting in a pro forma Solvency II ratio of Athora Netherlands of 165% at the first of July
- Athora Netherlands was voted the most sustainable insurance company in the Netherlands
- Appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer, Jan de Pooter, and new Chief Financial Officer, Jim van Hees optimally positioning the Executive Board to lead and steer the company
- An in-house investment office was launched headed by the new Chief Capital & Investment Officer and Executive Board Member, Etienne Comon, to ensure successful execution of the asset repositioning strategy
- Execution of strategy evidenced by, inflows in pensions, lower overall cost base and higher investment interest income
Jan de Pooter, Chairman of Athora Netherlands’ Executive Board:
“During the first half of 2021, we continued to effectively execute our strategy. We are making progress in reducing the overall operating cost base and ongoing efforts to reposition, our investment portfolio, into assets with higher returns are already delivering positive outcomes. Both are important steps in allowing us to offer the best value for money propositions to our customers. Additionally, we were happy to see customer satisfaction further increased in the first half of 2021.
Commercially, we achieved further growth within our key pension propositions: pension premiums and inflows into Zwitserleven PPI grew, which was supported by a historically high retention rate of 91.3% highlighting customer confidence in Athora.
In April, Athora Netherlands successfully issued a Tier 2 capital instrument, to refinance a SRLEV legacy instrument, with a 2.25% coupon reflecting increased investor confidence in our company. As per the first of July, SRLEV signed an additional longevity reinsurance agreement which had a 8%-points positive impact on the Solvency II ratio resulting in a pro forma Solvency II ratio of Athora Netherlands of 165% at the first of July. One of the pillars of our strategy is a focus on capital optimisation to redeploy resources into further repositioning of the investment portfolio which we see as a better rewarded and manageable risk. To facilitate the execution of the new strategic asset allocation we have successfully launched an in-house investment office headed by our new Chief Capital & Investment Officer, Etienne Comon. The full management of the own account investments has been successfully transferred to the investment office in the first half of 2021.
Athora Netherlands is committed to high standards of sustainability which also was acknowledged recently by two important third-parties: we were voted the most sustainable insurance company in the Netherlands by the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (the VBDO). Every year, the insurers are assessed for sustainability on the basis of four themes: governance, policy, implementation and accountability. This result makes us proud and proves our position as the front runner when it comes to sustainable investments. Furthermore, the Fair Insurance Guide (Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer) indicated in their latest report that we are taking adequate action against human rights violations within our investment policy.
With the hard work and dedication of our motivated colleagues, we are committed to bringing more value to our customers in fulfilling their long term interests.”