Thanks to the great engagement shown by employees and advisors, Swiss Life maintained its adjusted profit from operations at a high level of CHF 1.57 billion in 2020 in a very challenging environment. Net profit in 2020 fell by 13% from the previous year to CHF 1.05 billion.
The Swiss Life Group generated adjusted profit from operations of CHF 1572 million in 2020, a decline of 5% compared to the previous year. Net profit fell by 13% to CHF 1051 million, which was CHF 154 million lower than in the previous year. This decline is mainly due to two one-offs unrelated to the pandemic: on the one hand, a provision for the pending agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and, on the other, CHF 49 million due to a positive, one-off tax effect in 2019 in the context of the Swiss corporate tax reform. In addition, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the financial markets reduced the savings result. The fee result increased by 11% over the corresponding period in the previous year from CH 541 million to CHF 601 million. Swiss Life Asset Managers and the owned advisory organisations in Germany made the biggest contribution to this result.
In its home market of Switzerland, Swiss Life achieved a segment result of CHF 830 million. The 7% decline stems from the lower savings result; the fee result and risk result, meanwhile, were expanded. France reported a segment result of CHF 217 million – 21% lower than the previous year due to the lower savings result. Swiss Life in Germany contributed CHF 180 million to the result, which was slightly below the previous year’s figure (CHF 186 million). The increased fee result largely compensated for the decline in the savings result. Swiss Life International contributed CHF 78 million (previous year: CHF 81 million) to the result. Swiss Life Asset Managers increased its segment result by 12% to CHF 345 million, of which CHF 137 million came from third-party asset management, 60% up on the previous year.
In insurance business, Swiss Life generated direct investment income of CHF 4.0 billion (previous year: CHF 4.4 billion). The direct investment yield was 2.4% (previous year: 2.8%). The net investment yield was 2.2% (previous year: 2.9%).
Swiss Life was able to increase its fee income by 8% to CHF 1957 million. Of that, the contribution by owned IFAs increased by 8%, Swiss Life Asset Managers by 6% and from own and third-party products and services by 4%. Swiss Life posted premiums of CHF 20.0 billion for 2020. The decline of 13% and the associated normalisation are due to the extraordinarily high single premiums written by Swiss Life in the previous year, as a result of the withdrawal of a competitor from the full insurance business in Switzerland. Insurance reserves to the benefit of the company’s policyholders rose by 2% in local currency.
As at 31 December 2020, Swiss Life Asset Managers had a total of CHF 269.7 billion under management. Third-party assets under management at year-end were CHF 91.6 billion – a 10% increase over the previous year.
Swiss Life’s segment reporting is on a country basis: Switzerland, France and Germany. It also discloses separately the results of its cross-border segments: International and Asset Managers.
Events after the reporting period
There were no events after the reporting period.
Key figures for the Swiss Life Group
|Amounts in CHF million||2020||2019||+/-|
|GROSS WRITTEN PREMIUMS, POLICY FEES AND DEPOSITS RECEIVED||20 020||23 008||–13%|
|Net earned premiums||15 304||17 034||–10%|
|Fee and commission income||1 957||1 820||8%|
|Financial result||4 273||5 227||–18%|
|TOTAL INCOME||21 728||24 320||–11%|
|Net insurance benefits and claims||–15 629||–17 838||–12%|
|Policyholder participation||–910||–1 124||–19%|
|Operating expense||–3 590||–3 541||1%|
|TOTAL EXPENSE||–20 256||–22 669||–11%|
|PROFIT FROM OPERATIONS||1 472||1 651||–11%|
|NET PROFIT||1 051||1 205||–13%|
|Equity||17 263||16 435||5%|
|Insurance reserves||189 624||183 339||3%|
|Assets under management||299 272||279 258||7%|
|Assets under control||322 979||303 677||6%|
|Return on equity (in %) 1,2||9.4||10.8||–1.4 ppt|
|Number of employees (full-time equivalents)||9 823||9 330||5%|
|Number of advisors||15 830||13 570||17%|
|1 equity excl. unrealised gains/losses on financial instruments|
|2 incl. share buy-back (2020: CHF 29 million / 2019: CHF 913 million)|