The year 2022 leaves behind a strange aftertaste for Groupe Mutuel. Bittersweet, but also sweet and sour. A taste that is difficult to describe. In short, mixed results for a year of contrasts.
But let us start with the best part. For the first time in years, we have achieved commercial success, since no more than 67,500 new customers have joined us for basic insurance. Therefore, we are delighted to have exceeded one million insured persons for compulsory health insurance. “This is excellent news”, said Karin Perraudin, President of the Board of Groupe Mutuel. This success marks the renewal of Groupe Mutuel, as reflected in particular by the new brand launched in March 2022, which is greatly appreciated, especially in the Swiss-German part of Switzerland”, continued Thomas Boyer, CEO of Groupe Mutuel. ”These excellent business results are confirmation of the transformation and strategy implemented over the last few years”, said Karin Perraudin. ”But one must remain humble and cautious. The Swiss health system is of high quality, but its financing is very uncertain”, she added.
This success owes nothing to chance. It is not an accident, as the late football icon Pelé would say.
Yet, at the same time, the financial losses are significant. They are essentially due to the collapse of the financial markets combined with a further sharp rise in health costs: + 6,3% in 2021 and + 3% in 2022.
These two factors have significantly affected the finances of Groupe Mutuel. Its investment performance has fallen by around 10%. This decline in the markets can be explained in particular by the war in Ukraine and the return of inflation. For the first time since the 1970s, all asset categories without exception (equities, bonds, real estate) have suffered heavy losses at the same time and to the same extent. This is unprecedented and is further reinforced by the uncertainties over energy and commodity prices. Inflation is surging and central banks have no choice but to raise interest rates to try to contain inflation.
This extraordinary state of affairs is not just affecting Groupe Mutuel, but the entire economy and financial markets. “Unfortunately, the financial markets, which were down sharply in 2022, and the rise in health costs have resulted in a consolidated loss of CHF 487 million”, said Thomas Boyer.
"Success does not come by accident."
The great satisfaction of having returned to strong business growth is therefore somewhat tarnished by the financial results.
But let us take a look back at 2022, a year of many contrasts.
“This commercial success in all sectors is confirmation of our new sales strategy that is bearing fruit and of which we are proud”, said Thomas Boyer, CEO of Groupe Mutuel.
For Groupe Mutuel, the 2022 business year is a true success. The increase in turnover applies to all sectors of the company.
“For basic insurance, Groupe Mutuel can pride itself on having attracted over 67,500 new insured persons. This success is a confirmation of our new sales strategy, confirmed Thomas Boyer. We also reaped the benefits of having launched new insurance products that have clearly met the market’s expectations. In basic insurance, our new alternative model PrimaFlex has been a great commercial success.”
In terms of private insurance (LCA/VVG), all indicators are also encouraging since our new Premium insurance, for example, was also successfully launched and has attracted many new insured persons. The turnover for supplemental insurance has increased significantly.
Business activities for life insurance sector also continued to grow and achieved a stable performance in a tense market.
For five years now, corporate insurance and occupational benefits insurance have been performing extremely well. “In five years, turnover for these activities hasincreased by 35%”, enthused Thomas Boyer.
For Karin Perraudin, growth in this sector “is also a sign that our intended diversification strategy has been successful. In an increasingly competitive market and with a very volatile economy, it is essential to continue to seek and find new outlets in order to maintain jobs and consolidate the financial strength of Groupe Mutuel.”
The economic situation we have been experiencing for the past year has inevitably had an impact on the business of insurance companies in Switzerland. It is also clearly more difficult for many players in the Swiss healthcare system, such as hospitals and nursing staff, as well as for the supply of hundreds of medicines. Not to mention the finances of health insurance companies, which are suffering because of the sharp rise in health costs.
There is no shortage of challenges. But there is no need to overreact: “For equities and bonds for example, financial losses remain fictitious losses, since, as long as one does not sell, one does not lose. However, if the current situation were to continue, then more serious problems could arise”, said Thomas Boyer, CEO of Groupe Mutuel.
This is why, in the face of these uncertainties and market volatility, it is more important than ever for Groupe Mutuel to continue its transformation efforts. “We are clearly on the right track”, said Karin Perraudin. But we must not let up. Only together will all the players in the system have a chance of finding solutions to stop the increase in costs. It will be difficult for us to bring them down. However, if we can work collectively to stop the cost of healthcare from spiralling out of control, this would be a huge victory for premium payers", explained Karin Perraudin.
The challenges that lie ahead are numerous. Groupe Mutuel is undergoing a transformation, but the improvements in customer service are not yet finished and there is still room for improvement. This transformation is ongoing thanks to the strong commitment of all our employees. "I would like to extend my warmest thanks and congratulations to all the employees who achieved such impressive results in 2022 at the service of our insured persons. Thank you for your loyalty and for all the work you have achieved”, concluded Karin Perraudin.