S'pore operations lift GE's Q1 profit by 68%

GE says global volatility may affect its performance.
GE says global volatility may affect its performance.PHOTO: GREAT EASTERN

Higher earnings from its Singapore operations help lift earnings at insurer Great Eastern (GE) in the first quarter.

Net profit rose 68 per cent to $152.9 million despite losses from changes in the fair value of its investments arising from "unfavourable market conditions".

Total income for the three months to March 31 slipped 43 per cent to $2.21 billion.

In addition, GE's total weighted new sales fell 17 per cent to $231.1 million for the quarter on the back of lower single-premium sales in Singapore. New business embedded value, which is a measure of long-term economic profitability, declined 9 per cent to $100.7 million.

While new sales fell, operating profit from the insurance business rose 32 per cent to $159.3 million in the quarter, mainly attributable to positive performance from its life insurance arm, GE said.

Profit from shareholders' fund was 98 per cent lower year on year at $1 million for the quarter due to mark-to-market losses arising from unfavourable market conditions.

  • AT A GLANCE

  • TOTAL INCOME: $2.21 billion (-43%)

    NET PROFIT: $152.9 million (+68%)

Earnings per share was 32 cents compared with 19 cents last year.1

Chief executive Khor Hock Seng said: "We remain focused on our strategic plan to strengthen our distribution capabilities, optimise our bancassurance partnerships, and firmly push forward in our digitalisation transformation to better serve our customers."

GE said its performance may be affected by volatility in global financial markets, adding: "Over the longer term, the key indicators to watch are the direction of interest rates, equity prices and foreign exchange rates."

GE shares closed up seven cents to $30.38 yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore operations lift GE's Q1 profit by 68%'. Print Edition | Subscribe