Bruno Pfister, Group CEO comments: “Swiss Life performed strongly in the first half of 2010, as you can see from our net profit, the additional cost savings we realised, and our investment management activities. In addition, the improvements we achieved in client relations and distribution confirm that we have made sustainable progress in our pursuit of profitable growth. The measures introduced last year as part of our Group-wide MILESTONE programme have started to pay off.”
Increase in net profit
For the first six months of 2010, Swiss Life generated a profit from operations of CHF 415 million (HY 2009: CHF 251 million) and a net profit of CHF 269 million (HY 2009: CHF 139 million). This strong performance was mainly attributable to the operational progress made by the Group. The consistently high investment income was also a contributing factor: In Investment Management, Swiss Life achieved a net investment result of CHF 2.04 billion (HY 2009: CHF 1.98 billion) on the insurance portfolio, which corresponds to a non-annualised net investment return of 1.8% (HY 2009: 1.8%). Swiss Life will continue to pursue its 2010 objectives for the insurance portfolio and expects to achieve a net investment return of 3.6% to 3.7% for the 2010 financial year.
Operational progress in all segments
Swiss Life again generated a significantly improved segment result in Switzerland with CHF 282 million (HY 2009: CHF 193 million), largely due to further boosts in operational efficiency, strict cost discipline and the strong investment result. Swiss Life in Germany also greatly increased its segment result from CHF 31 million for the 2009 half year to CHF 64 million for the first six months of 2010, primarily due to the strong financial result and enhancements in operational efficiency. On the back of receding investment income, Swiss Life France’s segment result decreased from its half-year 2009 level of CHF 70 million to CHF 47 million. However, advancements were made in terms of operational efficiency. In the Insurance Other segment, Swiss Life recorded a positive trend, including its international business with high net worth individuals, which achieved profitability for the first time. Corporate Solutions – the global employee benefits provider – also contributed positively. However, due to the expansion of its global business and investments made in the product platform in Luxembourg, the segment posted an overall loss of CHF 6 million (HY 2009: CHF -14 million). AWD confirmed it is back on track by achieving an operating profit of EUR 20.4 million (HY 2009: EUR -10.3 million). At CHF 15 million, AWD thus strongly improved its segment result on the same period last year (CHF -28 million). Its reduced cost base and regained power helped to return it to profitability. Investment Management also grew its segment result from CHF 35 million to CHF 46 million.
Renewed strong premium growth
The Group’s premium volume rose 20% (in local currency) to CHF 12 241 million in the period under review. The performance was particularly strong in the international business with high net worth individuals, in Germany and in France. Premium volume in Switzerland remained stable. Premiums in Germany climbed 14% (in local currency) to CHF 1059 million and, in France, by 18% (in local currency) to CHF 2834 million. The Insurance Other segment, which includes the international business with high net worth individuals, almost doubled its premiums to achieve a volume of CHF 3072 million. At CHF 5285 million (HY 2009: CHF 5334 million), the company retained its high premium volume in Switzerland, thanks in part to the rise in periodic premiums for group insurance. AWD overcame the turbulent market environment to increase its sales revenues by 2% to EUR 263 million.
Solid capital base – increased solvency
Swiss Life again strengthened its capital base: Shareholders’ equity stood at CHF 7681 million at the end of the first six months of 2010 – an increase of CHF 473 million or 7% from the end of 2009. In the same period, the Group's solvency ratio rose from 164% to 175% and its assets under management totalled CHF 135 billion (up 2% on the end of 2009). Thanks to the positive course of business, the insurance reserves grew 4% (in local currency) to CHF 122 billion.
Other progress within the framework of MILESTONE
As part of its efficiency-enhancing programme MILESTONE, Swiss Life also made significant progress in the first half of 2010.
- Already at the end of June 2010 – with 72% – the Group achieved its 2012 target to increase its share of new business through modern insurance and risk products to over 70% (HY 2009: 62%).
- Overall, the Group reduced its costs by a further 8% on the prior-year period to CHF 767 million.
- At the end of the 2010 first half, already around 60% of the package of measures announced last year to achieve the 2012 targeted cost savings of CHF 350 million to CHF 400 million had been executed.
- Swiss Life is not yet on target in terms of margin management: On the back of the low interest rate environment and competitive pressure, the new business margin for the first six months of 2010 came to 0.9% – unchanged from the end of 2009. However, the company managed to offset some of the negative impacts of the low interest rates with specific measures. “Our priority is to achieve our margin targets for 2012, which is why we have launched around 30 products over the last 12 months, some of which are new and some of which are relaunches. We will continue to adopt the approach: profitability before growth”, declared Thomas Buess, Group CFO.
On track in 2010
Swiss Life confirms its objectives for 2010. Bruno Pfister: “Our first-half performance shows that we are on track with our 2012 targets. Although we face great challenges because of the low interest rate environment and tougher competition, we are confident that we will achieve our goals for 2010.”
Investors’ Day on 24 November 2010
Swiss Life will hold its Investors’ Day on 24 November. The detailed programme of events will be published on www.swisslife.com (“Shareholders & Analysts” section)
from the end of October 2010.
Transmission of today’s events and additional documentation
Today’s events will be broadcast at 9 a.m. (media presentation in German) and 11:30 a.m. (analysts’ and investors’ presentation in English) on www.swisslife.com. All additional documentation on the half-year results can also be found there.
Info kit half-year results 2010
The Swiss Life Group is one of Europe's leading providers of life insurance and pension solutions. In Switzerland, France and Germany, the Group offers individuals and corporations comprehensive advice and a broad range of products through its own sales force as well as brokers and banks. Swiss Life provides international corporations with employee benefits solutions from a single source, and is one of the global leaders in structured life and pension products for international high net worth individuals.
The AWD Group has been part of the Swiss Life Group since 2008. Hanover-based AWD is one of the leading European financial services providers in the medium- and high-income client segments and offers its clients personal and holistic financial planning in eight countries.
Swiss Life Holding Ltd, registered in Zurich, was founded in 1857 as Schweizerische Rentenanstalt. The shares of Swiss Life Holding Ltd are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SLHN). The Swiss Life Group employs a staff of around 8200.
This publication contains specific forward-looking statements, e.g. statements including terms like “believe”, “assume”, “expect” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors which may result in a substantial divergence between the actual results, financial situation, development, performance or expectations of Swiss Life and those explicitly or implicitly presumed in these statements. Against the background of these uncertainties, readers are cautioned that these statements are only projections and that no undue reliance should be placed on such forward-looking statements. Neither Swiss Life nor any of its directors, officers, employees or advisors nor any other person connected or otherwise associated with Swiss Life makes any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication. Neither Swiss Life nor any of the aforementioned persons shall have any liability whatsoever for loss howsoever arising, directly or indirectly, from any use of this information. Furthermore, Swiss Life assumes no responsibility to publicly update or alter its forward-looking statements or to adapt them, whether as a result of new information, future events or developments or any other reason.