9 september 2022
Significant progress with the execution of our Ambition 2025 strategy
“The first half of 2022 has been a very volatile and uncertain period for the world. The war in Ukraine is not only a humanitarian tragedy with far reaching geo-political consequences but also has a very substantial impact on the global economy, food and energy prices and financial markets.
In this uncertain and volatile environment, Athora Netherlands was able to continue to provide security to its customers. Starting from a relatively low risk position, the impact of higher rates and increased spreads in the bond markets resulted in a solid increase in the solvency of our company. Moreover, we were not affected directly by materially higher inflation expectations thanks to various inflation hedges which were put in place last year. Our Solvency II ratio of 202% at the end of June should provide further comfort to our customers for being their true ‘partner for life’ and allows us to continue the expeditious execution of our Ambition 2025 strategy.
One of the levers of our strategy is to increase our investment income through the repositioning of some of our investments towards higher yielding private assets. This shift was the prime reason for the improvement of our Net Underlying Result and is expected to further contribute to our capital generation which was already positive in the first half of 2022 and is expected to improve further going forward, creating a strong and sustainable platform for the development of our business. Our capital efficiency was further enhanced by an increased allowance for LAC DT and other measures. The strengthening of our financial position was also recognized by Fitch rating agency who upgraded the ratings of Athora Netherlands and Athora Group for the second time within a year.
We also made good progress in the implementation of our operating model. As of March 2022, we started with a new functional organizational structure facilitating our ambition to become a more simplified and efficient company that is better suited to our pension-focused strategy after the completion of the sale of our non-life and asset management activities.
Our business developed favorably in the first half of the year. Zwitserleven, as a leading provider of solutions for pension needs, was able to deliver solid growth in pension premiums. The increased volume in our accumulation business was partly offset by a small decrease in decumulation as customers delayed their decision to buy annuities in anticipation of higher interest rates. We were again able to support a pension fund with the transfer of its assets and liabilities ahead of the upcoming pension reform. And we launched our new annuity product to address the growing need of certain customers to only guarantee part of their pension income with the rest of the pension income remaining more reliant on the evolution of financial markets.
We continue to strive to be the most sustainable insurer in the Netherlands. We launched a new dedicated Sustainability department coordinating and consolidating all our efforts in this important domain. Under the Zwitserleven brand we recently started a campaign to further highlight our commitment to a better world. The upcoming renovation of the Holbeinhuis, our former office in Rotterdam, into an office building with the highest energy label is a good example of the tangible impact we can make in creating a more sustainable environment.
I am very pleased with our performance during the first half of 2022 and would like to thank our customers for their continued trust and our valued employees for their support in making this possible. I look forward to the remainder of 2022 with confidence as we continue to build for the long term in becoming the leading pension solutions provider in the Netherlands that will address the needs of the life and pensions market in the Netherlands.”Source: Athora
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