Great Eastern Q2 net profit surges 173% to $279.5m

Great Eastern's net profit for the first half-year swelled by 150 per cent to S$497.4 million from S$199.1 million a year ago.
Great Eastern's net profit for the first half-year swelled by 150 per cent to S$497.4 million from S$199.1 million a year ago. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Great Eastern Holdings Ltd, the insurance arm of OCBC bank, said net profit surged 173 per cent year-on-year to S$279.5 million for the second quarter ended June 3 from S$102.2 million for the year-ago period, driven by strong sales and investments.

Net profit for the first half-year swelled by 150 per cent to S$497.4 million from S$199.1 million a year ago. This increase was due to higher operating and non-operating profit, as well as higher profit from shareholders' fund's investments.

The group's total weighted new sales (TWNS) and new business embedded value (NBEV) growth for the first half of 2017 was strong at 17 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

The group continued its sales momentum through the second quarter, driving growth in TWNS and NBEV which increased by 6 per cent and 17 per cent respectively over the same period last year

TWNS growth was due to strong contribution from the agency channels in its core markets and bancassurance channel in Singapore. TWNS for the first half and second quarter rose by S$76.3 million and S$13.6 million respectively from a year ago, driven by an increase in sales across all channels.

NBEV, a measure of long-term economic profitability, recorded a 20 per cent growth in the first half over the year-ago period from higher sales and margins in core markets.

Commenting on GE's first-half results, group chief executive officer Khor Hock Seng said: "The group has achieved robust growth for the first half of the year. We continued the business momentum to deliver a strong set of operating results in the second quarter of 2017. The improvement in operating performance is a result of the significant contribution from our multi-channel distribution by our agents and bancassurance partners."

An interim dividend of 10 cents per share for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2017, was declared, on a par with a year ago. It will be paid on Aug 31.