SINGAPORE - GREAT Eastern Holdings said its second-quarter net profit grew to $244.6 million, due to significantly higher unrealised mark-to-market gains in the insurance business.
The insurer said on July 31 that this was "brought about by more favourable financial market conditions".
Operating profit from the insurance business slipped 8 per cent to $142.9 million for the three months to June 30, compared with a year ago, where the quarter was boosted by a larger release of tax provisions.
Excluding this release, operating profit for the quarter was higher than a year ago, due to the insurer's growing in-force business, a better product sales mix and lower claims.
Gross premiums for the quarter only dipped 1 per cent to $1.97 billion.
Total weighted new sales fell 16 per cent to $219.9 million in the second quarter, partly because sales through the Singapore bancassurance channel were lower.
The insurer added: "This was partially offset by sustained demand for regular premium Investment-linked products in the Malaysian conventional business."
For the first six months to June 30, net profit rose 111 per cent from a year ago to $476.2 million.
Net asset value per share was $11.43 at June 30, up from $10.73 at Dec 31 last year.
Earnings per share for the second quarter was 52 cents, up from 4 cents a year ago.
The insurer declared an interim dividend of 10 cents per share, to be paid out on Sept 3 this year.