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19.05.2016

Premium growth, reduced profits

19.05.2016

Premium growth, reduced profits

The international life insurance company elipsLife can look back on a difficult financial year – one which was largely characterised by the shock decision to lift the exchange rate cap on the Swiss franc against the euro. Despite a challenging market environment, the company was able to increase its premium volume by CHF 14.2 million in 2015 to CHF 670.1 million. However, profits shrank to CHF 1.3 million.

Since 1 January 2016, elipsLife has been part of the new Swiss Re Life Capital business unit, putting the company in an ideal position to benefit from the synergies afforded by this environment. elipsLife is also scheduled to commence operations in Germany and Italy this year.

In 2015, elipsLife once again enjoyed growth in all relevant markets, despite the shock decision of the Swiss National Bank to lift the minimum exchange rate of the Swiss franc against the euro. Consolidated gross premiums earned rose from CHF 655.9 million in 2014 to CHF 670.1 million, while there was a distinct fall in profits from CHF 9.6 million in 2014 to CHF 1.3 million. The pronounced increase in gross premiums earned was driven by the company’s core business in the markets in Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Benelux, which posted a net improvement of CHF 42.3 million from CHF 148.3 million to CHF 190.6 million. Although the health insurance business conducted in Ireland, where elipsLife acts as underwriter for the life insurance company Laya, demonstrated further growth in terms of the number of policyholders, the company was unable to increase its premium volume owing to the weakening of the Swiss franc.

Reto Toscan, CEO of elipsLife, views the results as positive: “Given the shock decision to lift the exchange rate cap on the Swiss franc against the euro, combined with the fact that the Eurozone accounts for roughly 80% of elipsLife’s premium volume, any positive result is a success in itself. Thanks to its healthy growth over the last few years, elipsLife has proved itself already strong enough to survive even the most difficult economic conditions.”

Investments in process automation and IT infrastructure were also pursued, particularly in terms of software, in line with the company’s future growth plans. Despite the high levels of investment and the resulting increase in depreciation, the cost ratio grew only slightly from 4% to 5%. The combined ratio (consolidated) rose from 96% in 2014 to 99% in the reporting year, due to an unusually high level of death benefit claims in the Netherlands.

elipsLife will continue to focus on its core markets in Europe, putting the spotlight on strengthening its market position as a leading provider of comprehensive personal insurance solutions from a single source. The company continues to perceive long-term and profitable growth potential in its present core markets (Switzerland/Liechtenstein and the Netherlands/Belgium) and is due to commence operations in Germany and Italy in the current financial year. By opening branches in Cologne and Rome, elipsLife has met all conditions for conducting business in two of Europe’s largest pension markets. The company has been part of the new Swiss Re Life Capital business unit since 1 January 2016, which will also provide elipsLife with further growth opportunities. Swiss Re brings together all of its primary insurance operations in this new business unit – and the corresponding synergies are now available to elipsLife.

Following the incorporation of elipsLife into the Swiss Re Life Capital business unit, the Board of Directors is now made up of two previous members – Luc Albert, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Julien Descombes – and, subject to the consent of the FMA, the following newly elected members: Claus Kriebel, who holds a PhD in Physics, Philip Long, Chief Risk Officer at Swiss Re Life Capital, and Ian Patrick, Chief Financial Officer at Swiss Re Life Capital.

elipsLife Media Office

Telephone +41 44 215 45 36

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Note for the editorial offices:

elipsLife is an international life insurance company headquartered in Triesen/Liechtenstein with branch offices in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. The company focuses on group life business for corporate clients and reinsurance solutions for pension funds. In the daily sickness benefits and accident insurance segments, elipsLife offers its corporate customers total solutions from a single provider. elipsLife is a subsidiary of Swiss Re.

Disclaimer

This document contains forward-looking statements that are based on current assumptions and reflect opinions on the developments targeted by the company as well as interpretations of the general state of the economy and the development of the markets. Such statements should be approached with the necessary care, as they depend on a number of fast-changing factors and therefore harbour much uncertainty. Actual results can deviate substantially from these forward-looking statements. elipsLife is not obliged to update forward-looking statements to take account of changed circumstances. This document does not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities. It does not serve as the basis for any agreement and may not be used in any such context.

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