Swiss Life said Wednesday it improved profit from operations by 9% in the first six months of 2011 to CHF 452 million (HY 2010: CHF 415 million), despite the strong Swiss franc. A 2% reduction in the cost base (CHF 17 million), active management of in-force business and another strong investment performance all contributed to the good result.
Net profit stood at CHF 403 million, 50% higher than the same period the previous year (CHF 269 million). Overall, the Group succeeded in improving the quality of its premium income. Premium volume in local currency stood at CHF 10 104 million in the first half year, a drop of 13% on the same period the previous year.
In the Swiss domestic market, on the other hand, Swiss Life outperformed the market with an 11% growth in premiums. Thanks to operational enhancements and an improved capital market environment, Swiss Life increased its new business margin compared to the same period the previous year from 0.9% to 1.6%; the value of new business grew from CHF 71 million to CHF 104 million, a rise of 46% over the same period the previous year.
The Group solvency ratio also climbed from 172% at the end of 2010 to 177%. Within the framework of its Group-wide MILESTONE programme, Swiss Life continues to work systematically in the areas of product innovation, efficiency and financial strength towards achieving its goals for 2012.
According to Bruno Pfister, Group CEO, “In the first half of 2011, Swiss Life again made advances in all key areas. We succeeded in significantly enhancing the quality of our premium income, our customer centricity and efficiency. We were thus able to report an encouraging improvement in our profit from operations despite challenging conditions in the capital markets. This improvement is primarily the result of the operational progress made. This shows that, with the disciplined execution of its Group-wide MILESTONE programme, Swiss Life can react purposefully and effectively to the tough market environment with its low interest rates and negative exchange rate effects.”