Patrick Frost, CEO of the Swiss Life Group: “The strong figures from the 2018 financial year are proof of the very successful completion of our “Swiss Life 2018” Group-wide programme, as we were able to achieve all the targets of our programme and even exceed them in most cases. That shows we are setting the right strategic directions and implementing our plans consistently. I am very proud of what our employees have again achieved. This success is the best prerequisite to keep Swiss Life on its profitable growth path in coming years.”
Increase in fee and risk results
In 2018, Swiss Life increased its net profit by 7% from CHF 1013 million to CHF 1080 million. Adjusted profit from operations increased by 4% to CHF 1553 million. The savings result was CHF 889 million (previous year: CHF 827 million), the risk result was CHF 410 million (previous year: CHF 395 million). Swiss Life achieved an increase of 8% in its fee result to CHF 488 million (previous year: CHF 452 million).
Swiss Life increased direct investment income to CHF 4.4 billion (previous year: CHF 4.3 billion). That corresponds to a direct investment yield of 2.9% (previous year: 2.8%). The net investment yield was 3.0% at the end of 2018 (previous year: 2.5%).
In its home market of Switzerland, Swiss Life achieved a segment result of CHF 865 million, 4% higher than the same period last year. The savings result was CHF 628 million (previous year: CHF 550 million). The risk result was unchanged at CHF 251 million and the fee result increased to CHF 18 million (previous year: CHF 14 million). In France, Swiss Life grew its segment result by 2% to EUR 239 million. Growth in the fee result was again pleasing: up 12% at EUR 67 million. The risk result was 5% higher than in the previous year at EUR 95 million. The savings result (EUR 179 million) was practically at the same level as the previous year. Germany reported a segment result of EUR 123 million – minus 10% compared to the previous year. This was due to a lower savings result caused by a positive one-off effect in 2017 (EUR 17 million). Meanwhile the fee result improved by 1% to EUR 58 million and the risk result by 16% to EUR 32 million. Swiss Life International achieved a segment result of EUR 58 million – up 27%. The fee result improved by 29% to EUR 41 million and the risk result by 75% to EUR 10 million. Swiss Life Asset Managers achieved a segment result of CHF 272 million, which was 5% higher than the previous year.
Strong growth in fee income
Swiss Life grew fee income by 6% in local currency to CHF 1615 million. Higher contributions from owned IFAs (+10%), from Swiss Life Asset Managers (+6%) and from own and third-party products and services (+2%) drove this growth. In 2018, Swiss Life reported premium growth of 2% in local currency to CHF 19.2 billion. Insurance reserves to the benefit of the company's policyholders rose by 2% in local currency.
Swiss Life Switzerland achieved premiums of CHF 9.5 billion – plus 3%. Fee income was up 7% at CHF 247 million. France showed a 6% increase in premiums to EUR 5.1 billion. Fee income, meanwhile, remained slightly lower than the previous year at EUR 269 million (-1%). In Germany, Swiss Life generated premiums of EUR 1.2 billion – an increase of 2%. Fee income increased by 10% to EUR 395 million. Premiums at Swiss Life International fell by 11% to EUR 2.1 billion. Fee income, on the other hand, rose to EUR 225 million (+11%).
As of 31 December 2018, Swiss Life Asset Managers had a total of CHF 233 billion assets under management. In its third-party business, Swiss Life Asset Managers generated net new assets of CHF 8.4 billion (previous year: CHF 7.1 billion). Third-party assets under management thus rose to CHF 71.2 billion as of 31 December 2018 – a plus of 16% over the previous year. Total income by Swiss Life Asset Managers increased by 6% to CHF 734 million. Third-party asset management contributed CHF 413 million to that amount (previous year: CHF 389 million).
“Swiss Life 2018” – all targets achieved, exceeded in most cases
Swiss Life implemented the “Swiss Life 2018“ Group-wide programme very successfully in the past three years. All the targets were achieved and – in most cases exceeded. The fee result of CHF 488 million (2018 ambition: CHF 400 to 450 million) and risk result of CHF 410 million (2018 ambition: CHF 350 to 400 million) were above target. For 2018, Swiss Life also achieved a value of new business of CHF 386 million. This brings the cumulative total over the three years of the programme to CHF 1033 million, again well above the ambition of CHF 750 million. Sustained cost discipline enabled Swiss Life to keep operating expenses practically stable and savings totalling CHF 111 million freed up resources for investment. The efficiency ratio, meanwhile, improved in all units over the past three years. The cash remittance to the holding company came to CHF 696 million in 2018. This resulted in a cumulative total over the three years of “Swiss Life 2018” of CHF 1.9 billion (2018 ambition: CHF 1.5 billion). Reported shareholders’ equity was down from CHF 15.5 billion to CHF 14.5 billion due to valuation losses on fixed-income investments. Swiss Life generated an adjusted return on equity of 9.1% in 2018 (previous year: 9.3%), and was thus within its target range of 8 to 10%. Swiss Life estimates its SST ratio at above 180% as of 1 January 2019, based on the new regulatory solvency model.
Increase in dividend to CHF 16.50 per share
As a result of the excellent business development, the Board of Directors will propose to the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on 30 April 2019 an increase of the dividend per share to CHF 16.50 (previous year: CHF 13.50) – of which CHF 2.50 will be paid in the form of a withholding tax-free distribution from the capital contribution reserves. The dividend payout ratio is thus 51%. All Members of the Board of Directors are standing for reelection. As previously announced, Thomas Buess, current Group CFO, will be proposed for election to the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting.
Telephone conference for investors and analysts
Patrick Frost, Group CEO, and Thomas Buess, Group CFO, will hold a telephone conference in English for financial analysts and investors today at 9 a.m. (CET).
+41 (0)58 310 50 00
+44 (0)207 107 06 13
+1 (1)631 570 56 13
There is also an audio webcast on the website www.swisslife.com. Please dial in ten minutes before the start of the conference.
Media conference for media representatives
Patrick Frost, Group CEO, and Thomas Buess, Group CFO, will hold a media conference in German for media representatives today at 11 a.m. (CET). The media conference will be held at the Swiss Life head office, General-Guisan-Quai 40, in Zurich.
Phone +41 43 284 77 77
Phone +41 43 284 52 76
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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, Fincentrum 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 subsidiaries Livit, Corpus Sireo, Mayfair Capital and Beos are also part of the Swiss Life Group. The Group employs a workforce of around 8600 and has at its disposal a distribution network of some 14 000 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 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.