Great Eastern posts record profit of $1.19 billion for last financial year

Insurer Great Eastern Holdings posted a full year net profit of $1.19 billion this morning, on the back of a growing insurance business, favourable market conditions and a one time divestment gain.

Excluding the profit of $421.6 million from the sale of Great Eastern's stake in Asia Pacific Breweries and Fraser and Neave, net profit was still a record $767.5 million, nearly double from a year ago.

For the quarter ended Dec 31, net profit was also up 227 per cent from a year ago to $225.6 million as positive market sentiment led to huge mark to market gains.

New sales in the fourth quarter was also up 15 per cent to $262.3 million as the company's product offerings tailored for specific customer segments such as the high net worth individuals were well received.

The company announced a final dividend of 27 cents per ordinary share, and a special dividend of 27 cents per ordinary share, both payable on May 9.

This will bring total dividends for the financial year to 64 cents per ordinary share.