Lesetedi’s Midas touch at Botswana Life

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GAZETTE REPORTER

Operating profit for Botswana Life jumped 15 percent, the first half of 2018 year on year and the full six months Catherine Lesetedi has been watching over the company.
Lesetedi, who is Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Botswana Life’s mother company was wheeled in as interim caretaker of the leading life insurer last year September after Bilkiss Moorad abruptly quit the top post.
In Lesetedi’s final year (2015) as Botswana Life CEO, the organization saw strong operating performance, operating profit growing from P317 million to P390 million in 2015, a 23 percent growth year on year. In the same period of 12 months ending 2015, Net Premium Income grew by 25 percent from P 1.95 billion in 2014 to P2.44 billion in 2015, with most income lines contributing positively to the growth. Total New Business written grew 19 percent underpinned by strong single premium income performance. Recurring Premium Income (Net) at P1.015 billion breached the P1billion mark for the first time in the history of the organization which the group said was in line with the company’s strategy of focusing on sustainable growth. The value of new business, which represents the present value of future profits from new business premiums written during the year, also grew by a pleasing 15 percent year on year.
In 2016, the year Moorad took the reins, operating profit was 9 percent lower than the previous year. Net premium income shrunk by 15 percent year on year with P2.07 billion during 2016 compared to P2.44 billion achieved in prior year. This, the group said was primarily due to the nonrecurring one-off schemes that were signed in 2015 on single premiums. Recurring premium income grew by an impressive 7 percent from P1 billion in December 2015 to P1.085 billion for the full year to December 2016 spurred by a 9 percent growth in retail recurring premium income.
In 2017, operating profit was flat on prior year before taking out one-off separation costs related to the company’s streamlining exercise. The once-off project costs saw operating profit decrease from P356 million in 2016 to P328 million in 2017. Net Premium Income grew by 12 percent from P2.07 billion in 2016 to P2.32 billion in 2017, with all income lines posting a growth of at least 7 percent and above. Total new business written grew 11 percent underpinned by strong single premium income performance. Recurring premium income grew by an impressive 12 percent from P1.09 billion in December 2016 to P1.22 billion in 2017. The value of new business, which represented the present value of future profits from new business premiums written during the year, decreased by 8 percent from prior year owing to reduced margins.
Last week, BIHL posted financial results for the first half of 2018 indicating that Botswana Life Operating profit increased from P142 million in June 2017 to P164 million in June 2018 mainly because of new business volumes from the group line, low new business strain and cost savings from the streamlining exercise carried out in the second half of last year.
Net Premium Income for the first half of 2018 grew by 5 percent from P1.1 billion in 2017 to P1.15 billion, with all income lines showing growth from the prior year. Total New Business written grew 7 percent underpinned by strong single premium income performance. Recurring premium income grew by an impressive 9 percent from P605 million in June 2017 to P659 million in June 2018. The value of new business, which represents the present value of future profits from new business premiums written during the period, increased by 14 percent from the prior year on the back of impressive new business volumes from the group lines and term assurance policies.

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