Swiss Life posts fall in first-half profits

Swiss Life posts fall in first-half profits
Photo: Swiss Life
Insurance giant Swiss Life on Friday posted a first-half drop in net profit to 361 million francs ($371 million) that nonetheless beat market forecasts.

Analysts had pencilled in profits closer to 309 million francs.

Falling demand in the group's key sectors was countered by increasing profitability, with operating profit up 17 percent to 528 million francs despite a 2.6 percent fall in premiums to 9.8 billion francs.

Swiss Life managing director Bruno Pfister said he was very happy with business in the first half of the year despite historically low interest rates and "continuing volatility" in the market place.

"That shows that we have been able to make our sales model tougher in recent years," he said.

AWD, the group's German financial services provider, saw net profits sink 63 percent to 6 million francs and commission income fall 18.6 percent to 275 million francs.

Its contribution to group earnings fell to €13.1 million after it set aside more than €9 million for litigation.

Shares in Swiss Life were up 3.7 percent to 105.5 francs in late morning trading amid general market gains of 0.53 percent.

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