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Financial year shaped by high healthcare costs and customer growth

Healthcare costs continued to rise in Switzerland in 2023, which also had an impact on Sympany’s business. The company closed 2023 with a loss of CHF 58.2 million since the tightly calculated premiums were unable to cushion the high inflation. As the high equity base shows, Sympany remains in a good financial position. It was able to maintain strong customer growth in 2023 and once again achieve excellent satisfaction scores in independent customer surveys.

Basel, 24 April 2024 – Sympany faced a challenging year in 2023. The huge increase in healthcare costs had an impact on business, as Sympany had calculated the premiums very tightly in its customers’ interest. Due to the strong customer growth, there were also higher provisions and risk compensation payments. The company closed the year with a loss of CHF 58.2 million. In contrast to basic insurance, supplementary insurance achieved a positive result. Sympany’s financial foundations remain very sound: the solvency ratio is well above the legally required minimum level and will recover again this year. Equity is also very sound, at around 32% of premium income.

Premium income rose by around CHF 139 million to CHF 1,159 million due to record customer growth in 2023. Premium income increased from CHF 788 million to CHF 918 million in the basic insurance segment and from CHF 223 million to CHF 231 million in the supplementary insurance segment. Since more policyholders claimed more insurance benefits, the cost of benefits climbed by around CHF 69 million to a total of CHF 1,058 million. In the areas of loss of income and accident insurance in the corporate customer business, Sympany improved its profitability and strengthened its new customer acquisition.

Growth thanks to good positioning and strong customer focus
As of 1 January 2024, Sympany has a total of 298,000 customers in its Private Customers business, of whom 247,300 have basic insurance cover in accordance with the Federal Law on Sickness Insurance (KVG). This means there are around 8,000 more policyholders with basic insurance cover than in the previous year. Sympany’s basic insurance for border commuters also recorded further growth, particularly in Germany. 

This growth was driven primarily by the company’s good positioning in some premium regions in Switzerland and Germany and its good customer service. Sympany’s reputation as a customer-oriented and reliable partner is likely to have been another driving factor. As in previous years, customers taking part in independent surveys said they were very satisfied and gave Sympany top marks for its customer focus. 

To help it continuously improve its products, services and processes, Sympany introduced the Customer Advisory Council in 2019, which now comprises around 250 customers. Their contributions in the reporting year included input on the clarity of customer information, selected campaigns and the use of chat sessions on the Sympany website.

Wide range of customer benefits and further developments
In the reporting year, Sympany policyholders benefited from discounts at online pharmacies Zur Rose (in Switzerland) and DocMorris (in Germany). The advice service offered in selected Swiss Post branches, which Sympany operates together with PostalNetwork, was also successful. With its “Swim for free” campaign, Sympany continued a popular tradition in which children, adolescents and young adults can gain free access to over 90 outdoor pools and lidos in Switzerland and Germany. There were various updates in the customer portal and mySympany app in 2023. To improve the digital customer experience, targeted developments are also planned for this year.

Strategic realignment by 2030 – measures introduced 
In order to remain fit for the future in a competitive market environment, Sympany launched a programme to boost its competitiveness with a focus on efficiency, digital transformation and sustainable growth. As part of this programme, Sympany introduced measures to streamline the organisation and reduce administrative costs. In addition to savings in material costs, a reduction in headcount was also necessary across all levels of the hierarchy, which was possible due to natural fluctuation in many cases. However, it was not possible to entirely prevent economically driven redundancies, although in these cases Sympany’s social plan applied.

There were important personnel changes at the helm of the company in the reporting year. Andreas Krümmel became Chairman of the Board of Directors in May, while Christian Conti took over as CEO in November. The Board of Directors and Executive Board were reduced by one and two members respectively from the start of 2024. Sympany employed 619 staff on average in 2023. 

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