Swiss Life net tumbles on hefty AWD writedown

ZURICH Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:17am EST

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ZURICH Feb 27 (Reuters) - Swiss Life 2012 net profit tumbled 85 percent to 93 million Swiss francs ($99.8 million) as a hefty but expected fourth quarter writedown on its German advisory arm took some of the shine off strong investment income.

The life insurer said in November it was writing down 576 million Swiss francs on the German unit, AWD, after buying it for 1.2 billion euros in 2008. Last year it took a 47 million franc provision for legal bills involving AWD.

The company posted a 26 percent increase in profit from operations which rose to 993 million, partly thanks to a net investment return of 4.8 percent, a percentage point ahead of a year earlier.

Switzerland's biggest dedicated life insurer said its solvency ratio -- a measure of its ability to meet future claims -- rose to 242 percent from 213 percent a year earlier. ($1 = 0.9315 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto)

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