Swiss Life hikes dividend after net profit tops forecasts

ZURICH Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:21am EST

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ZURICH Feb 26 (Reuters) - Swiss Life raised its dividend on Wednesday, after net profit for 2013 topped the most optimistic forecast in a poll, helped by cost cutting and increased premium income.

The Zurich-based insurer posted a net profit of 784 million Swiss francs ($882.73 million), compared to a forecast for an average of 712 million in a Reuters poll. The highest forecast was for a net profit of 760 million Swiss francs.

The result was almost eight times higher than that reported in 2012, a year which saw a writedown of Swiss Life's German advisory arm deal a blow to profit.

The insurer proposed a dividend of 5.50 Swiss francs per share for 2013, compared to 4.50 francs in the previous year.

($1 = 0.8882 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Alice Baghdjian)

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