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France

Swiss Life France grew its segment result to CHF 277 million (previous year: CHF 261 million). This development is primarily due to the good quality of new business, a stable financial margin and improved technical margins in health, death and disability insurance. Property and casualty business incurred a particularly high claims burden in 2018 due to a large number of significant claims events. In addition, Swiss Life France emphasised cost discipline. Costs increased significantly as income and business both grew.

In 2018, the French insurance market posted 4% growth in local currency in a market environment shaped by government tax reforms and low interest rates. Savings and retirement business was up 4%, while health, death and disability insurance and property and casualty business grew by 6 % an 3%, respectively. Swiss Life in France increased premium volume significantly to CHF 5.9 billion, maintaining its focus on profitability and quality of new business and not so much on business volume. Premium income in savings and retirement provisions rose by 9% in local currency. The share of premiums from unit-linked contracts was 50%, and thus well above the market average of 28%, thanks to the private insurer strategy and bonus distribution policy for investments in the premium customer segment. The share of unit-linked contracts in new business remained stable at the very high level of 61%. At the end of 2018, these contracts accounted for 38% of reserves. In health, death and disability insurance, the focus was on profitability both in health and in death and disability insurance, which restrained volume growth. Premiums increased by 1% in local currency as rates increased and persistency improved. With its distribution of savings products, Swiss Life Banque Privée once again contributed to business with high net worth individuals. Fee income in savings and retirement provisions was up 3% in local currency, although revenues in unit-linked life insurance suffered from the market downturn at the end of the year. Fee income increased by 1% overall, due to the weaker banking market environment.

Swiss Life in France will continue to invest in its customer segments in 2019, focusing on its multichannel distribution and expanding its product offering. Swiss Life in France wants to consistently expand and improve the customer experience by optimally increasing and supporting the personal customer relationship with digitalisation and services.

Key figures for France

Amounts in CHF million20182017+/-
GROSS WRITTEN PREMIUMS, POLICY FEES AND DEPOSITS RECEIVED5 8595 31010%
Net earned premiums2 7092 6313%
Fee and commission income3103023%
Financial result85377310%
Other income41n/a
TOTAL INCOME3 8763 6955%
Net insurance benefits and claims–2 155–2 171–1%
Policyholder participation–372–20978%
Interest expense–89–92–3%
Operating expense–982–9612%
TOTAL EXPENSE–3 599–3 4345%
SEGMENT RESULT2772616%
Assets under control41 72242 707–2%
Insurance reserves33 19933 822–2%
Number of employees (full-time equivalents)2 3962 08715%