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Swiss Life posts mixed results

Switzerland’s largest insurer Swiss Life has reported an overall net profit for 2009 of SFr277 million ($262 million).

This is down around 20 per cent on 2008 when the results were boosted by disposal gains.

The net profit announced on Tuesday was below analysts’ expectations, as the Zurich-based company struggled under the weight of restructuring costs at German advisory unit AWD.

Swiss Life said profit from its continuing operations was SFr324 million in 2009 – SFr1.5 billion more than in 2008. But a SFr47 million charge relating to discontinued operations dented overall profits.

The insurance group had sold its Dutch and Belgian businesses in 2008 together with the Banca del Gottardo.

In 2008 writedowns on investments pushed the company into a large operating loss.

Zurich-based Swiss Life said that 2009 had been a “challenging year” in what remained a volatile and demanding market environment, but added that it had laid down the foundations for profitable growth.

“In the first two months of 2010, Swiss Life was able to build on the progress made in the fourth quarter of 2009,” said CEO Bruno Pfister. and agencies

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