Great Eastern Holdings (GEH) yesterday announced its financial results for the half year (1H20) ended 30 June 2020, showing a 35% fall in profit attributable to shareholders to S$331.4m ($240.4m), compared to the corresponding period last year. Operating profit increased by 57% to S$484.3m during the first six months.
Highlights of GEH’s financial results include: 














S$ m


2Q20


2Q19


?%


1H20


1H19


?%




Total Weighted New Sales


286.1


296.8


-4


584.9


544.2


+7




New Business Embedded Value


109.1


151.4


-28


235.2


261.2


-10




Operating Profit from Insurance Business


185.7


159.4


+16


484.3


308.1


+57




Profit Attributable to Shareholders


297.5


169.0


+76


331.4


511.7


-35


 

The Group’s Total Weighted New Sales (TWNS) was 7% higher for 1H20 compared to the same period last year. This was driven by the Singapore business, which registered a strong growth for the first six months of the year. The Group’s TWNS for Q2-20 was 4% lower compared to the same period last year due to the restricted business activities amid COVID-19.

New Business Embedded Value (NBEV) in 1H20 and Q2-20 was lower at S$235.2m and S$109.1m respectively.

Regulatory Capital

The Capital Adequacy Ratios of the Group’s insurance subsidiaries in both Singapore and Malaysia remain strong and well above their respective minimum regulatory levels.

Dividend

The board of directors has declared an interim one-tier tax-exempt dividend of 10 Singapore cents per ordinary share for the financial year ending 31 December 2020, to be paid on 26 August 2020.

Commenting on the Group’s financial results, Group CEO Mr Khor Hock Seng said, “Sales in our core markets for 2Q20 were affected by the tighter movement restriction measures implemented due to COVID-19. The bancassurance channel was significantly impacted as sales activities, which were largely conducted at bank branches were restricted. Our agency force in Singapore was able to adapt swiftly and transition to operate digitally on the back of the major digital and technology infrastructure initiatives that we have embarked on in the past two years. This has helped to cushion the impact of restricted sales activities. We remained accessible and responsive to our customers through a number of touchpoints during this period; ensuring quality customer service is delivered to them.

“We have launched Great Comprehensive Care in Singapore, to meet the protection needs of the self-employed, freelancers and gig economy workers in Singapore in light of COVID-19. It is the first plan in the market to offer Hospitalisation Income, Personal Accident Coverage and Outpatient Care in a single policy. In addition, it provides for up to 12 virtual medical consultations, which can be shared among family members.

“Looking ahead, uncertainty over the global economic outlook is likely to persist amid the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising geopolitical risks. We expect the economic outlook to be challenging, volatility in the financial markets and the low interest rate environment to continue, and this could impact the performance of the Group. We will continue to monitor and assess market developments closely, responding swiftly to meet the challenges faced in this rapidly shifting business landscape to meet customer and stakeholders needs.”

Founded in 1908, Great Eastern is a well-established market leader and trusted brand in Singapore and Malaysia. It has over S$90bn in assets and more than 8m policyholders, including 5m from government schemes. The Group also operates in Indonesia and Brunei and has a presence in China as well as a representative office in Myanmar.

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