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France

In the reporting year, Swiss Life France posted a segment result of CHF 287 million (previous year: CHF 217 million). The segment result increased by 31% in local currency. This is primarily due to an increase in the sustained good quality of new business, higher fee income based on the rise in assets as well as an improved financial margin and improved technical margins in property and casualty. In health insurance, the recent implementation of the new healthcare reform contributed to an additional increase in claims. Meanwhile, death and disability insurance suffered unfavourable claims development.

The insurance market grew by 19% in local currency in 2021 and recovered accordingly after a decline in 2020 (12%). The main driver was savings and retirement provisions, which grew by 30%. Health, death and disability insurance and property and casualty business were up 4%. Swiss Life France increased premiums to CHF 7.7 billion. The focus remained on profitability and quality of new business. Premiums in savings and retirement provisions rose by 26% in local currency. The share of premiums from unit-linked contracts was 58%, around twice the market average – thanks to the private insurer strategy and bonus distribution policy for the premium customer segment. The contribution of unit-linked contracts to new business increased further to 72%. At the end of 2021, these contracts accounted for 50% of reserves in the life business. Premiums in health and death and disability insurance increased by 9%, driven by buoyant health and death and disability sales. With its distribution of savings products, Swiss Life Banque Privée once again made a positive contribution to business with high net worth individuals in 2021. Fee income rose from CHF 338 million to CHF 414 million during the year under review. In local currency, this corresponds to a 21% increase and is attributable to higher assets and strong inflows, particularly in savings and retirement provisions.

In 2022, Swiss Life France will continue to focus on advising and supporting its premium clients by providing comprehensive insurance and wealth management solutions to high net worth individuals and offering a broad range of private risk and pension solutions to self-employed and corporate clients. This strategy will be supported by the continued implementation of the multi-distribution strategy, which will help increase distribution capacity. The company also aims to optimise the scalability and efficiency of its business model by increasing sales efficiency, developing phygital journeys by using existing portals and by implementing automated processes with its key external partners and distributors.

Key figures for France

Amounts in CHF million
    2021   2020   +/–
Gross written premiums, policy fees and deposits received   7 687   6 277   22%
Net earned premiums   3 905   3 503   11%
Fee and commission income   414   338   22%
Financial result   977   774   26%
Other income   7   3   n/a
Total income   5 304   4 618   15%
Net insurance benefits and claims   –3 443   –2 841   21%
Policyholder participation   –303   –409   –26%
Interest expense   –76   –76   1%
Operating expense   –1 195   –1 076   11%
Total expense   –5 017   –4 401   14%
Segment result   287   217   32%
Assets under control   51 781   50 135   3%
Insurance reserves   42 011   40 179   5%
Number of employees (full-time equivalents)   2 681   2 576   4%
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