Swiss Life Posts Second-Half Loss After AWD Brokerage Writedown

Swiss Life Holding AG (SLHN), Switzerland’s biggest life insurer, posted a second-half loss after writing down the value of its German brokerage AWD Holding AG by 578 million Swiss francs ($620 million).

The net loss of 268 million francs compares with a profit of 202 million francs a year earlier, according to Bloomberg calculations that were confirmed by the Zurich-based company. That beat the average estimate for a 300 million-franc loss of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Swiss Life cut its targeted return on equity to between 8 percent and 10 percent over the next three years from between 10 percent and 12 percent, after reporting in November it will rebrand AWD, cut costs by as much as 160 million francs and eliminate as many as 400 jobs.

“Even though net profit contracted markedly due to the impairment in AWD’s intangible assets, our key figures for the past year show that we have a solid foundation on which to further expand our market position in the coming years,” Chief Executive Officer Bruno Pfister said in an e-mailed statement.

Swiss Life said its full-year result from operations dropped 51 percent to 346 million francs. AWD posted an operating loss of 591 million francs.

Swiss Life said it will keep its dividend unchanged at 4.50 francs a share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carolyn Bandel in Zurich at cbandel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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