• Country assessment: more downgrades than upgrades;
  • Last year Credendo collected premiums with a value of 370 million euros;
  • The group’s balance sheet total exceeded 4 billion euros for the first time;
  • Credendo is focusing on delivering a high level of customer service with the help of a new group structure and website and the Get Ready action plan.

Country risks: upgrades and downgrades

The last few years have been challenging for the global economy and 2016 proved to be no exception. This is also reflected in Credendo’s figures: 25 downgrades and only 5 upgrades were issued for medium-term political risks. Low commodity prices in particular weighed heavily on countries that export such products, especially if their revenue sources were not particularly well diversified, as is the case for the majority of oil-producing nations. For commodity importers, such as India and Morocco, these low prices came as a boon. Their current accounts improved and they were able to reduce oil subsidies, which also led to an improvement in their public finances.

After a poor 2015, last year Credendo identified greater opportunities in the area of short-term risks, issuing 26 upgrades and just 15 downgrades. The situation improved in virtually all regions, with the exception of the Middle East and North Africa.

Increasing debt in emerging economies, Brexit, the election of the new President of the United States and terrorism in Turkey and Sub-Saharan Africa caused a good deal of concern on the markets. However, there is also good news to report: Asia once again proved to be the most robust region, with Myanmar in particular catching the eye. This country received an upgrade from Credendo for the first time, thanks to its democratically elected government and the reforms that are under way.

For 2017 the economic and political situation remains uncertain, as the consequences of a number of political shocks, including Brexit and the election of President Trump in the United States, are yet to emerge. The rise in interest rates, which looks set to continue, and the conflict in the Middle East are also causes of concern. On the other hand, commodity prices are gradually starting to recover and China is expecting growth of 7%.

Credendo’s results

“In 2016 exporters once again had to negotiate extremely choppy waters and that is partially reflected in our figures”, says Dirk Terweduwe, Group Chief Executive Officer. “In spite of an increase in the number of claims files, Credendo managed to end the year with a consolidated profit of 20.5 million euros, more than 11 million euros up on the previous year”, he continues. “Credendo is keen to prove itself a reliable export partner, not only by taking on more staff to ensure a personal approach, but also by paying out claims in difficult economic and political situations.”

Key figures for 2016:

  • In spite of a negative technical result and an increase in the number of claims files, Credendo ended the year with a consolidated profit of 20.5 million euros;
  • The group insured transactions with a value of 80 billion euros, a slight decline of 4 billion euros on 2015;
  • Last year Credendo collected premiums with a value of 370 million euros;
  • Equity rose by 16 million euros to 2.392 billion euros and the group has no debt;
  • The group’s balance sheet total exceeded the 4 billion euros mark for the first time.

Focus on a high level of customer service

The Credendo brand name was introduced by the first rebranding campaign in November 2013, when the text ‘Member of the Credendo Group’ was added to the historical names of all entities of the group. Since 1 January 2017 all entities have been operating under one name: Credendo. This means that in future the various entities will be distinguished only on the basis of their activities. The move away from these historical names has therefore resulted in a new group structure:

A new website should also underline this strong group identity: 10 different websites are being replaced with a single online presence: www.credendo.com. As the group’s focus is on delivering a high level of customer service, the new website is based around a product wizard, to ensure customers are guided directly to the right product. The Get Ready action plan has also been launched within this context. This plan will cover a three-year period (from 2016 to 2018) and is crucial to the group’s further development. Dirk Terweduwe explains: “The plan focuses on four pillars: firstly, we are and will remain active in the areas of credit and political-risk insurance. Secondly, following on from this, we have launched a new product onto the market: Credendo Buyer Credit. Thirdly, we are keen to strengthen our geographical presence and are placing a strong emphasis on new IT systems, which will be extremely important to help us improve our operational excellence. Fourthly, we have drawn up specific action plans for each entity and department and have made performance more easily measurable by working on the basis of targets. The next few years therefore promise to be extremely challenging and exciting, but all these steps are needed if we are to take our customer service to the very highest level.”

Press contact:

Nabil Jijakli
Group Deputy CEO
rue Montoyerstraat 3
1000 Brussels
Belgium
E n.jijakli@credendo.com
M +32 478 25 11 33

Documentation

Annual Report, 2016
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