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Swiss Life surprises the market, posting a 30% profit rise in the first half of 2013.

The insurer, Swiss Life, earned a significantly improved profit of 472 million CHF for the first six months of 2013, up from 365 million CHF posted in the first half of 2012.

This came as a surprise as analysts had previously predicted a profit of 368 million CHF in a poll conducted by Swiss financial newswire AWP.

These results have been attributed the strong results in part to successful investments, an improvement in the operations of the company and the cost-cutting programme “Swiss Life 2015” which is “on track” with its implementation.

Bruno Pfister, Group CEO, added that “All market units are growing in terms of both premium income and their contribution to the Group result”.

There was an increase in premium volume in France by 8%, in Switzerland by 5% and in Germany by 4%

Successful investments

Despite a challenging market, the Group achieved a net investment result (non-annualised) of 2.4%; up from 2012’s first half which was 2.7%. This was due to “robust direct investment income” and “additional gains and appreciation in the investment portfolio”.

Pfister commented that this “once again testifies to the resilience and quality of our investment portfolio”.

Operations

“Swiss Life further improved its operational effectiveness in the first half of 2013, and this applies to all market units,” says Pfister. Profit from operations in the first half of the year increased by 16% adjusting for one-offs and currency. Swiss Life in Switzerland, France and Germany all posted improvements contributing to this increase.

The “Swiss Life 2015” programme

The group-wide programme is on target in its execution; Pfister said that they are “very satisfied with the solid start we have made”. Designed to strengthen essential parts of its value chain, the programme focuses on five points; Customers, offerings, distribution, efficiency and quality, and financial strength (for more details click here).

To read the press release from Swiss Life click here