- SwissLife increased its profit from operations adjusted for one-off effects from CHF788million to CHF993million in 2012 (+26%) thanks to further operational improvements and an excellent investment result.
- One-off effects, in particular as a result of the impairment in the value of AWD's intangible assets of CHF578million announced last year, led to reported netprofit of CHF93million (2011: CHF606million).
- Important contributors to this positive development in the results were the market units in Switzerland, Germany, France and Investment Management. Results in AWD and SwissLifeInternational were lower than expected.
- With investment performance of 8.5% (2011: 7.5%), an investment result of CHF5.7billion and net investment return of 4.8% (2011: 3.8%) were achieved, which enabled substantial strengthening of the technical reserves.
- With CHF17.0billion SwissLife maintained premium income at its prior-year level and improved its new business margin from 1.2% to 1.4% despite the challenging market conditions.
- Shareholders' equity rose by 12% to CHF10.3billion; the Group's solvency ratio climbed from 213% in 2011 to 242% at the end of 2012.
- The Board of Directors proposes that the Annual General Meeting approve a distribution of CHF4.50per share.
In the words of Bruno Pfister, Group CEO, "SwissLife succeeded in further enhancing its operational effectiveness in 2012, fuelled by an excellent investment result and further operational improvements. Even though net profit contracted markedly due to the impairment in AWD's intangible assets, our key figures for the past year show that we have a solid foundation on which to further expand our market position in the coming years."
Growth in the strategically important business areas
SwissLife has once again grown in the strategically important business areas. Despite difficult market conditions, the company maintained overall premium volume of CHF17.0billion at its prior-year level. Performance in the home market of Switzerland was encouraging with growth of 2% to CHF8.3billion (2011: CHF8.1billion), driven by both corporate client business (+2%) and private client business (+1%). SwissLife in France generated stable premium income on a currency-adjusted basis (CHF4.3billion), which is encouraging in light of the 4% contraction in the market as a whole. In Germany too, SwissLife held its position (CHF1.7billion); while single premiums edged down, periodic premiums were up 2%. The Insurance International segment, where premium income originates largely from global business with high net worth individuals, recorded a currency-adjusted decline of 4% to CHF2.9billion (2011:CHF3billion).
Since the beginning of the year, Investment Management's operations have been bundled together under the sub-brand "SwissLifeAssetManagers". Assets under management at SwissLifeAssetManagers stood at CHF148billion (2011:CHF134billion). This includes third-party assets in which SwissLife can report growth of 24% to over CHF20billion thanks to additional mandates and positive market developments. Net new money inflow alone amounted to more than CHF2billion. Technical provisions to cover obligations to our customers increased by CHF10billion to CHF138billion, an increase of 8% on the previous year. AWD recorded a drop in sales of 13% to EUR489million. In Germany, in particular, AWD fell short of expectations. "Under our Group-wide programme "SwissLife 2015", we are reacting to the developments in Germany and repositioning ourselves; we will manage our insurance operations and all our distribution channels, that is SwissLife, SwissLifeSelect, tecis, HORBACH and Proventus under one roof going forward," says Bruno Pfister. "This new positioning is running to plan and will enable us to leverage synergies and prominently reposition ourselves in the highly competitive but promising German market."
Significant operational improvements
In the 2012 financial year SwissLife increased its profit from operations, adjusted for one-off effects, by 26% from CHF788million to CHF993million; adjusted net profit stood at CHF681million, a 22% rise on the previous year (CHF557million). Primarily as a result of the impairment in AWD's intangible assets (CHF578million) and additional provisions for litigation, together with restructuring costs under the new Group-wide programme "SwissLife2015", this produces reported net profit of CHF93million. In Investment Management SwissLife generated a net investment result on the insurance portfolio of CHF5.7billion, up CHF1.5billion on the previous year. This gives a net investment return of 4.8% (2011:3.8%) and investment performance of 8.5% (2011:7.5%). "This result is also encouraging in an international peer comparison," says Bruno Pfister. "And it enables us to substantially bolster our technical reserves."
In Switzerland, SwissLife posted a segment result of CHF634million, up CHF158million on the previous year, following efficiency gains and a very good investment result. In France, SwissLife recorded an increase in profits of CHF33million to CHF157million due to good performance of financial products and an improved technical margin. In Germany, SwissLife improved profits by CHF11million to CHF69million thanks to a successful investment policy. The Insurance International segment's result was CHF24million down on the previous year, attributable to restructuring costs (CHF7million) and impairment of the customer relationship asset (CHF17million) resulting from the concentration on two instead of three locations in the international business with high net worth individuals. Investment Management contributed a segment result of CHF138million, which was up CHF8million on the previous year. The AWD segment adversely impacted the result by CHF-591million. Primarily as a result of the impairment in intangible assets of CHF578million and provisions for litigation of CHF36million, AWD's contribution to the results adjusted for one-off effects was CHF49million.
Increase in new business margin and stronger capital base
SwissLife made further advances in margin management: In 2012 the Group increased its new business margin from 1.2% to 1.4%. The value of new business improved from CHF150million in the previous year to CHF158 million. In 2012 the Group generated a return on equity of 0.9%. Adjusted for one-off effects and unrealised gains and losses on fixed-interest investments in equity, return on equity stood at 8.6%. SwissLife has a solid capital base: Shareholders' equity climbed from CHF9.1billion to CHF10.3billion in 2012. The Group's solvency ratio rose from 213% to 242%; on the basis of its internal model, which is still being reviewed by FINMA, SwissLife's SST ratio is in the green.
Distribution of CHF4.50per share – new reporting as of Q12013
At the Annual General Meeting on 23April2013, the Board of Directors will propose a distribution from the capital contribution reserve of CHF4.50 per share, the same level as in the previous year.
The changeover of the reporting to the new structure introduced under the Group-wide programme "SwissLife2015" will take effect as of the first quarter of 2013, with publication on 23May2013. The first comprehensive reporting under the new "SwissLife 2015" structure will be on the publication of the half-year results on 14August2013.
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The Swiss Life Group is one of Europe's leading comprehensive life and pensions and financial solutions providers. In its core markets of Switzerland, France and Germany, Swiss Life offers individuals and corporations comprehensive and individual advice plus a broad range of own and partner products through its sales force and distribution partners such as brokers and banks.
Swiss Life Select (formerly AWD), tecis, HORBACH, Proventus and Chase de Vere advisors choose suitable products for customers from the market according to the Best Select approach. Swiss Life Asset Managers offers institutional and private investors access to investment and asset management solutions. Swiss Life provides multinational corporations with employee benefits solutions and high net worth individuals with structured life and pensions products.
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 workforce of around 7000, with approximately 4600 certified financial advisors.
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, by their nature, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors. These may result in a substantial divergence between the actual results, developments and expectations of Swiss Life and those explicitly or implicitly described in these forward-looking statements. Given these uncertainties, the reader is reminded that these statements are merely projections and should not be overvalued. Neither Swiss Life nor its Members of the Board of Directors, executive managers, managers, employees or external advisors nor any other person associated with Swiss Life or with any other relationship to the company makes any express or implied representation or warranty as to the correctness or completeness of the information contained in this publication. Swiss Life and the abovementioned persons shall not be liable under any circumstances for any direct or indirect loss resulting from the use of this information. Furthermore, Swiss Life undertakes no obligation to publicly update or change any of these forward-looking statements, or to adjust them to reflect new information, future events, developments or similar.