- In the first half of 2012 SwissLife expanded its premium volume by 1% in local currency terms to CHF9.8billion and grew in strategically important business areas.
- Profit from operations rose by 17% to CHF528million due to further operational advances and a strong investment result. Adjusted for one-offs and currency effects, net profit stood at CHF369million, up 15% on the same period the previous year.
- The market units of Switzerland, France, Germany and Investment Management made a significant contribution to the operational result.
- At 2.7% SwissLife achieved a strong improvement in its net investment return (HY2011: 1.9%) – attributable to successful investment management and a high-quality, well-diversified investment portfolio.
- Shareholders' equity grew by 8% to CHF9.8billion; the solvency I ratio stood at 224% (compared with 213% at the end of 2011).
"I am very satisfied with our business performance in the first half of 2012," says Bruno Pfister, Group CEO. "SwissLife has been successful despite the historically low interest rates and persistently volatile markets. This proves that we have further improved the resilience of our business model in recent years."
Profit from operations – strong rise in net investment return
In the first half of 2012, SwissLife increased its profit from operations to CHF528million, up 17% on the same period the previous year (HY2011: CHF452million). Adjusted for one-offs and currency effects, net profit grew 15% to CHF369million (HY2011: CHF322million). This increase comes on the back of further operational advances and a strong investment result. In Investment Management SwissLife generated a net investment result on the insurance portfolio of CHF3236million (HY2011: CHF2083million). The direct return on investments in a declining interest rate environment was the same as last year at 1.8%. With a non-annualised net investment return of 2.7%, SwissLife delivered a stronger insurance investment performance than the previous year (HY2011: 1.9%). Bruno Pfister commented, "This excellent result was achieved thanks to active investment management and a high-quality, well-diversified investment portfolio. This included a shift of positions in euros to other currencies which was driven by risk considerations. We were thus able to strengthen our balance sheet and protect our interest margin and consequently future profitability."
Increased profit in core markets – setbacks at AWD and SwissLife International
SwissLife in Switzerland posted a segment result of CHF341million, up 17% on the same period the previous year. A good risk result and an exceptionally strong investment result were the main contributors. SwissLife in France increased its segment result on a currency-adjusted basis by 14% to CHF80million. This was primarily driven by an improved margin in life insurance and a better combined ratio in health insurance and property and casualty business. In Germany SwissLife increased profits by 16% to CHF43million on the back of a good investment result. Investment Management also made a larger contribution to profits: Thanks to increases in assets under management and corresponding growth in asset management fees, profits rose by 7% to CHF61million. Results were down at SwissLife International and AWD. SwissLife International realised a loss of CHF3million due to negative currency effects and higher costs. AWD, on the other hand, posted a slightly higher operating result than in the first half of 2011 (EUR22.4million / +3%). However, due to EUR9.3million in provisions for litigation, AWD's contribution to Group earnings declined to EUR13.1million (HY2011: EUR21.8million).
Not growth at any price
SwissLife was able to increase overall premium volume in currency-adjusted terms by 1%. Bruno Pfister, "We were able to grow in strategically important business areas. Namely in corporate client business in Switzerland, occupational pensions in Germany, and health and risk business in France." SwissLife in Switzerland posted premium growth of 2% to CHF5741million. Although premiums declined in currency-adjusted terms by 4% to CHF2123million, SwissLife in France significantly outperformed the French market as a whole. In Germany premiums dropped by 3% on a currency-adjusted basis to CHF805million. Thisincluded a 4% increase in periodic premiums while single premiums fell due to profitability considerations. Compared with the same period the previous year, premium volume at SwissLife International grew by 7% in currency-adjusted terms to CHF1211million. Sales revenues at AWD declined by 13% to EUR232million attributable to the tough conditions within the sector in general. SwissLife's assets under management climbed 5% to CHF141billion compared with the same period the previous year. Thanks to the positive course of business, insurance reserves grew by 5% in local currency to CHF133billion.
Strengthening of the capital base
SwissLife continues to have a solid capital base: Shareholders' equity at the mid-year point was CHF9.8billion (+8%). The Group solvency ratio rose to 224% compared with 213% for the same period the previous year.
Information on today's events
Information on today's events at 9a.m. (conference call and live audio webcast for analysts and investors in English) and at 11a.m. (media lunch in German) can be found at www.swisslife.com. Additional documentation on the half-year results is also available there.
Phone +41 43 284 77 77
Phone +41 43 284 52 76
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 comprehensive financial advisory services. Germany, the UK, Austria and Switzerland are the AWD Group's core markets.
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 7500.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking information
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.