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Swiss Life says annual profit to fall

Published on 23/02/2009

ZURICH - Swiss insurer Swiss Life on Friday said it expected to post a sharp fall in annual net profits to CHF 340 million for 2008, following investment losses and reduced values.

The profit, equivalent to EUR 228 million or USD 288 million, is a quarter of the CHF 1.37 billion posted in 2007.

"These are a result of the downturn on the financial markets last year, particularly since September 2008", said Swiss Life.

The group’s chief executive Bruno Pfister said the insurer’s capital base "remains solid" and that it "significantly reduced" risks on its balance sheet.

Bank Wegelin noted that while the fall in profits would be disappointing to investors, assurances about the insurer’s capital base would ease fears about the insurer’s need to raise capital.

In early morning trade, the stock was up 10.72 percent at CHF 50, the best performer on the Swiss Market Index, which was down 1.35 percent.

[AFP / Expatica]