- The SwissLife Group again increased its efficiency and competitiveness in 2013, generating adjusted profit from operations of CHF1143million (+13%).
- Net profit came to CHF784million – compared to CHF99million in the previous year, which was impacted by one-off effects.
- All market units contributed to the positive development and grew in strategically important business areas: Premium income overall rose by 4% in local currencyto CHF18 billion.
- Thanks to the high net investment result of 3.9% (2012: 4.8%) it was again possibleto substantially strengthen the insurance reserves.
- Despite investments and growth initiatives, SwissLife reduced costs under"SwissLife2015" by a further 1% compared with the previous year.
- Asset management business for external customers generated good net newasset inflows of CHF5.6billion and assets under management grew by 34%to CHF27.6billion.
- The new business margin increased to 2.2% (2012: 1.4%) and the value of newbusiness rose to CHF289million (2012: CHF158million).
- Return on equity came to 10% in 2013 (2012: 8.6%).
- Shareholders' equity fell by 12% to CHF8.9billion due to rising interest rates;the Group's solvency ratio stood at 210% at the end of 2013 (FY 2012: 239%).
- The Board of Directors proposes that the Annual General Meeting approve anincrease in the distribution from CHF4.50 in the previous year to CHF5.50 per share.
"2013 was a very good year for SwissLife," says Bruno Pfister, Group CEO. "Higher premium income, higher margins and higher profit accompanied by lower costs: These strong results prove that we are making good progress with our Group-wide programme 'Swiss Life 2015' and have been able to expand our position in the market."
SwissLife outperforms the market in Switzerland and in France
In 2013 SwissLife grew profitably and above the market average in strategically important business areas. At CHF 18 billion, premium volume in local currency was 4% up on the previous year (CHF17billion). Performance in the home market ofSwitzerland was very encouraging:In the corporate client sector, where full insurance in 2ndpillar occupational benefits (BVG) has continued to see vigorous demand from Swiss SMEs, SwissLife posted considerably stronger growth (13%) than the market as a whole (8%). Compared to the previous year total premium income in SwissLife Switzerland grew by 9% to CHF9billion. SwissLife in France also posted strong growth in local currency of 8% to CHF4.7billion compared to 5% for the market. With premium income in Germany of CHF1.7billion SwissLife kept volumes on a par with the previous year despite strict margin management. SwissLife International, which generates premium income primarily from global business with high net worth individuals,recorded a drop in premiums of 10% to CHF2.6billion. At CHF1.2billion, fee and commission income for the Group remained at the prior-year level.
Strong net new asset inflows at SwissLife Asset Managers in external customer business
In external customer business, SwissLife Asset Managers posted net new assets of CHF5.6billion thanks to new mandates and inflows in institutional and retail funds. Total volumein asset management business with external customers now stands at CHF27.6billion (+34%). This is a clear sign that customers recognise the expertise and success of Swiss Life Asset Managers and that its expanded portfolio of products and services is in high demand. Together with proprietary assets, total assets under management at SwissLife Asset Managers stoodat CHF155billion at the end of December 2013 (2012: CHF148billion).
Operational advances, fee business and the investment result shape profit
SwissLife reports adjusted profit from operations of CHF1143million, a rise of 13%. On a non-adjusted basis, profit from operations stands at CHF1149million. Net profit comes to CHF784million compared with CHF99million in the previous year, which was impacted by impairments in intangible assets. SwissLife Asset Managers maintained direct investment income from the insurance portfolio at the previous year's high level of CHF4.3billion. Together with realised gains and revaluations on our real estate portfolio, this produced a net investment resultof 3.9% (2012: 4.8%).The strong investment result again enabled substantial strengtheningof the insurance reserves.
SwissLife Switzerland increased its segment result by 17% to CHF716million (2012: CHF613million) due to further cost reductions and a strong investment result. SwissLife France posted a steep 18% rise to EUR157million – attributable to a higher fee result, ongoing improvements in operational efficiency and a good financial result. SwissLife Germany achieveda segment result of EUR78million (2012: EUR -158million), driven by significant operational progress and a high investment result. On the basis of strict cost management, SwissLife International posted a very pleasing improved result with a contribution to profit of CHF 16 million (2012: CHF -334million). SwissLife Asset Managers increased its segment result by 21% to CHF166million.
Major advances in implementing "SwissLife 2015" – return on equity of 10%
Within the context of its Group-wide programme "Swiss Life 2015", the Group made further significant operational progress in the 2013 financial year. A total of 75% of the planned cost reduction measures have already been implemented. The Group reports a rise in the new business margin from 1.4% in 2012 to 2.2%, while the value of new business went up from CHF158million to CHF289million. Adjusted for unrealised gains and losses on bonds, SwissLife generateda return on equity of 10% in 2013 (2012: 8.6% adjusted). As a result of the rise in interest rates over the past year, shareholders' equity fell from CHF10.1billion to CHF8.9billion. The Group's solvency ratio stood at 210% at the end of 2013 (FY2012: 239%). Excluding unrealised gains and losses on bonds, the Group's solvency ratio rose to 196% (FY2012: 186%).
Management change in Germany – Markus Leibundgut to become the new CEO
Manfred Behrens, 59, will retire in 2014 and will be succeeded on 1April2014 as CEO Germany and member of the Corporate Executive Board of the SwissLifeGroup by MarkusLeibundgut, the current Chief Operating Officer of SwissLife Germany. During the ten years he spent at SwissLife, Manfred Behrens made a major contribution to developing the Group's position in Germany and making it a leader in distribution to end customers. His discerning style and in-depth knowledge of distribution allowed him to add valuable impetus to the development of SwissLife. The Board of Directors and Corporate Executive Board of the SwissLife Group would like to thank Manfred Behrens for his enormous commitment over many years and wish him all the best for his future.
Markus Leibundgut, 45, has broad experience of the insurance industry in Europe. In July2013 he was appointed to the Executive Board of SwissLife Germany as Chief Operating Officer. This change in the CEO is the last step in SwissLife Germany's integration of all its business activities in the Germany market. All distribution and production organisations are now together under one roof.
Increase in dividend to CHF5.50 per share
At the Annual General Meeting on 23April2014, the Board of Directors will propose an increasein the dividend (withholding tax-free distribution out of the capital contribution reserves) from CHF4.50 in the previous year to CHF5.50 per share. Peter Quadri will be resigning fromthe SwissLife Board of Directors at the next Annual General Meeting due to his reachingthe statutory age limit. Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli will be proposed to shareholders for electionto the Board of Directors. She is Vice President of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technologyin Lausanne (EPFL) with responsibility for Innovation and Technology Transfer. In the contextof the implementation of the Swiss "Minder initiative", SwissLife will be proposing amendmentsto its Articles of Association at the next Annual General Meeting.
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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 SwissLife 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. SwissLife 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.
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, 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 4500 certified financial advisors.