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Swiss Life Holding generated a profit of CHF 784 million in the 2021 financial year (previous year CHF 719 million).
The annual profit mainly consisted of dividends, investment income and revenues from guaranteed benefits and commissions. Dividend income from subsidiaries increased from CHF 712 million in the previous year to CHF 764 million, income from guaranteed benefits and commissions remained unchanged at CHF 42 million and investment income declined slightly from CHF 52 million to CHF 51 million.
As at the end of the year, Swiss Life Holding had assets (liquid funds, receivables from Group companies, debt securities, equities and investment funds) of CHF 1.3 billion (previous year: CHF 1.1 billion). Cash on hand increased to CHF 52 million (previous year: CHF 28 million) and receivables from Group companies rose to CHF 260 million (previous year: CHF 165 million). Debt securities, investment funds and equities amounted to CHF 976 million at year-end (previous year: CHF 879 million).
The share buyback programme announced in February 2020 (2020-2021) of CHF 400 million was successfully concluded on schedule in May 2021. Swiss Life repurchased 908 423 treasury shares in total from March 2020 to May 2021. In 2021, 829 099 shares were repurchased for CHF 371 million (2020: 79 324 shares for CHF 29 million). On Investor Day 2021, Swiss Life announced a further share buyback programme (2021-2023) in the amount of CHF 1 billion. 68 000 shares worth CHF 38 million had been repurchased under the current share buyback programme (2021-2023). A total of 485 824 shares repurchased were cancelled during the year under review. The shares outstanding as at the end of 2021, amounted to 31 528 567, of which 1.97% are held by Swiss Life Holding.
Swiss Life Holding’s total distribution to shareholders was made as an ordinary dividend and amounted to CHF 654 million, or CHF 21.00 per share. Swiss Life Holding’s nominal share capital remained practically unchanged at CHF 3 million.
Long-term debt capital increased to CHF 1.5 billion (previous year: CHF 1.0 billion). The increase is due to an internal loan of EUR 600 million granted by Swiss Life Finance I, a financial company held as a subsidiary. The funds come from a successfully placed 10-year green bond. Part of the money was used to repay a long-term bond in the amount of CHF 200 million maturing in December 2021 to investors. Interest on long-term debt capital totalled CHF 7 million (previous year CHF 5 million) in the year under review. With short-term repo transactions, Swiss Life Holding generated interest income of CHF 1 million (previous year: CHF 1 million).
New loans totalling CHF 303 million were awarded to Group units to finance real estate projects or smaller acquisitions. Including repayments of expired loans and payments under lines of credit granted, the outstanding amount remained stable at CHF 1.6 billion (previous year: CHF 1.6 billion).
Interest income remained stable at CHF 30 million and income from investments in bonds and fund units declined slightly to CHF 20 million (previous year: CHF 22 million). Both loans granted internally and external investments in foreign currencies are almost fully hedged with currency futures. The cost of hedging during the reporting period was CHF 5 million (previous year: CHF 7 million). The investment book value remained unchanged during the year under review at CHF 3.2 billion.
Staff costs and operating expenses rose to CHF 20 million (previous year: CHF 16 million). Tax expenses rose to CHF 10 million (previous year: CHF 7 million).