MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Great Eastern’s net profit jumps by 5% to $218.8m in Q4

On back of its surging insurance business.

The city-state’s largest life insurance firm bucked a loss in its shareholders’ fund’s investments as it raked in hefty profits from its insurance business to pose a 5% growth in its bottomline.
According to a press release by Great Eastern, operating profit from its insurance business grew by 9% to $169m, boosted by a write-back of prior years’ tax provisions and a release of reserves to reflect improved claims experience in the Singapore Non-participating Fund.

Meanwhile, this negated a dip in profits from its investment-linked fund, which was lower compared to last year as contributions from its Malaysia operations were negatively hit by currency translation.

“FY-15 operating profit of S$581.4 million was 2% lower than last year mainly due to currency translation. Excluding the effect of currency translation, operating profit registered marginal growth over last year,” the release said.

Additionally, profit from shareholders’ fund’s investments recorded a net loss of $1.1m, a drastic turnaround from its profit of $48.6m for the same period last year.

“The main contributors were losses from disposals, decline in the fair value of some investments, and provision for impairment in accordance with the Group’s accounting policy,” Great Eastern said.

Khor Hock Seng, group CEO of Great Eastern, said it plans to focus on enhancing its data analytics capabilities and capitalise on technology to gain greater insights to change how we shape the customer experience.

“We will continue to pursue a disciplined and prudent strategy as we grow our franchise across our key markets in an increasingly uncertain and competitive business environment,” he said.

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