"Swiss Life further improved its operational effectiveness in the first half of 2013, and this applies to all market units," says Bruno Pfister, Group CEO. "Thanks to strict margin management and further improvements in the product mix, we increased the new business margin from 1.4% at the end of 2012 to 2.0% at half-year 2013. All market units are growing in terms of both premium income and their contribution to the Group result. Our net investment result of 2.4% once again testifies to the resilience and quality of our investment portfolio and enables us to further strengthen our technical reserves."
Profitable growth in all market units
Over the first six months of 2013, Swiss Life increased premium income in local currency to CHF 10.4 billion, up 6% on the same period the previous year. All market units contributed to this growth. In the home market of Switzerland, Swiss Life posted growth of 5% to CHF 5.9 billion (HY 2012: CHF 5.6 billion). The occupational benefits business was a particular contributor to this rise (+8%). In France, Swiss Life increased premium volume by 8% in local currency to CHF 2.3 billion (HY 2012: CHF 2.1 billion), primarily driven by 16% growth in life business. Furthermore, the share of unit-linked contracts in life business rose from 25% to 36%. In Germany, premiums amounted to CHF 0.9 billion (+4% in local currency), driven in particular by higher volumes in occupational disability, long-term care insurance and modern products. The International market unit grew premium income by 7% to CHF 1.3 billion in the first half of 2013. Swiss Life Asset Managers achieved further growth in third-party business, reporting net new asset inflows of CHF 2.3 billion for the period under review and an increase in third-party assets to CHF 24.1 billion. Overall the Swiss Life Group generated fee and commission income of CHF 551 million in the first half of 2013 (HY 2012: CHF 524 million), in part due to higher income at Swiss Life Asset Managers and the growth in unit-linked contracts.
Improved profit from operations – positive one-offs
Adjusted for one-offs and currency effects, Swiss Life increased profit from operations in the first half of 2013 by 16% to CHF 639 million (HY 2012: CHF 553 million). Before adjustment for one-offs arising from the transition to IFRS 13 of CHF 60 million and restructuring costs of CHF 11 million, profit from operations came to CHF 688 million. At the same time net profit climbed 29% from CHF 365 million to CHF 472 million (CHF 433 million on an adjusted basis). Swiss Life Switzerland generated a segment result of CHF 472 million (HY 2012: CHF 355 million), aided by a good investment result and an improved risk and cost result. Swiss Life France also increased its contribution to the results. On the back of a very good financial result and improved combined ratios in health and P&C, the segment result increased 14% to CHF 93 million (HY 2012: CHF 82 million). Swiss Life Germany improved its segment result from CHF 41 million to CHF 50 million. The International market unit generated a segment result of CHF 8 million (HY 2012: CHF -2 million). Swiss Life Asset Managers increased its segment result by 16% to CHF 71 million (HY 2012: CHF 61 million) driven by the rise in fee and commission income.
Attractive net investment result
The Swiss Life investment portfolio once again proved its resilience: Thanks to robust direct investment income of a (non-annualised) 1.7% (HY 2012: 1.8%) and additional gains and appreciation in the investment portfolio, the Group achieved a net investment result (non-annualised) of 2.4% (HY 2012: 2.7%). In view of the challenging market environment this is an excellent result. Shareholders' equity fell 14% to CHF 8.8 billion due to the rise in interest rates; Group solvency decreased accordingly from 239% at the end of 2012 to 205% at half-year 2013. Excluding unrealised gains and losses on bonds, the solvency ratio increased slightly by two percentage points to 188% (FY 2012: 186%). Based on its internal SST model, which has been partially approved by FINMA, Swiss Life is in the green.
Increase in new business margin – "Swiss Life 2015" programme on track
Swiss Life is well on track with the implementation of its Group-wide programme "Swiss Life 2015". The new business margin rose 2% as a result of further improvements in the product mix (FY 2012: 1.4%). The value of new business increased in all markets, climbing on a Group-wide basis to CHF 141 million from CHF 59 million in the same period the previous year. Thanks to strict cost discipline under "Swiss Life 2015", operating expenses remained stable despite investments in growth programmes, and efficiency ratios in all market units improved. Bruno Pfister, "We are very satisfied with the solid start we have made under our Group-wide programme. The progress we have made will help us to operate flexibly even in a persistently challenging environment."
Further information on the half-year results and today's events can be found at www.swisslife.com
>> Media presentation half-year results 2013 (in German)
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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, 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.
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.