In the first six months, Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt recorded a striking growth in profit. The consolidated net profit increased compared with the corresponding period of the previous year by 60.6% to CHF 371.7 million, the gross profit by 53.2% to CHF 585.2 million. This is the result of favourable investment income, successful acquisition policies and improvements in the operational sector. Schweizerische Treuhandgesellschaft STG was newly included in the scope of consolidation as on 1 January 2000.
Substantial Increase in Premium Volume
The insurance business was decisively marked by a rise in gross premiums of 18% to over CHF 11 billion and by an increase in premiums earned of 22.3% to approximately CHF 9.7 billion. At CHF 1.1 billion, a significant contribution came from the majority holding acquired in the CCF subsidiary ERISA in France. Without external growth, the rise in premiums amounted to 5.9%.
89% of gross premiums were generated by the life sector while 11% stem from non-life business. Consistent internationalisation has helped to increase the foreign share of gross premiums to 48% (1st half year 99: 40%).
Rise in Claims Paid
Claims paid showed a rise of 18.4% to CHF 7.0 billion. Payments for endowments paid on maturity, for service terminations in group insurance schemes as well as for redemption and premature cancellations of contracts increased significantly in Switzerland and in France. The development of benefit payments upon death and cases of disability was as expected.
Decreased Cost Rate
Overall, costs increased 20.1%; without acquisitions, this figure amounted to 4.8%. The cost rate in the life sector was reduced from 10.8% to 9.5%. The non-life combined ratio, i.e. the claim and cost rate, improved from 104.6% to 103.4%.
Gratifying Financial Result
Overall net investment income amounted to a total of CHF 4.2 billion (+12.9%). Direct investment income increased 17.9%. While net realised gains of CHF 680 million were slightly below the previous year's figure, net non-realised gains more than doubled, reaching CHF 385 million. Assets under management rose by 11.4% to CHF 214 billion since 31 December 1999.
Integrated Financial Portal on the Internet
The Swiss Federal Banking Commission granted Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt permission to settle clients' banking business through a new Internet platform. This online-platform will provide clients with a range of products and services from both the banking and insurance sectors. Such products and services are offered by various renowned financial services providers including Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt. Thanks to this Internet bank, clients will have the possibility of settling their entire financial business through one competent partner. This financial portal is to be opened in the course of the year 2000.
For the rest of the year 2000 Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt is also expecting a positive business trend. The company is confident that it will continue to improve the operating results and markedly increase the total of premiums collected in comparison with the previous year. With the progressive internationalisation, the ratio of foreign premiums in the total volume will rise to reach about that of Swiss business at the end of this year.
With regard to the development of profits, Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt continues to expect a substantial improvement compared to the previous year, on the condition that no unforeseen changes take place in the markets. In addition, realised gains will increase in the second semester as a result of the conversion of a partial portfolio of CCF shares to shares of HSBC Holding plc. For this reason, investment income is expected to once again make an encouraging contribution to the corporate result.
Swiss Life/Rentenanstalt Performance from 4.1.00 - 31.8.00