AIA delivers strong growth in the first half of 2018

24 August 2018 dot  13-min read
AIA dlivers strong growth in the first half of 2018
Value of new business increased by 17 per cent
Operating profit up 14 per cent; Interim dividend up 14 per cent
Hong Kong, 24 August 2018 – AIA Group Limited ("AIA"; or the "Company"; stock code: 1299) is pleased to announce its 2018 interim results1.
In respect of the first six months of 2018, AIA has delivered double-digit growth across our main financial metrics, including very strong growth in value of new business (VONB) of 17 per cent on a constant exchange rate basis and 22 per cent on an actual exchange rate basis, compared with the corresponding six-month period ended 30 June 2017.
Highlights are shown on a constant exchange rate basis below:
Very strong growth in value of new business
  • 17 per cent growth in VONB to US$1,954 million
  • 24 per cent growth in VONB, excluding the retail IFA channel in our Hong Kong business which had an exceptional performance in the first half of 2017
  • Annualised new premiums (ANP) increased by 9 per cent to US$3,252 million
  • VONB margin up 4.4 pps to 59.5 per cent 
Continued growth in operating profit
  • IFRS operating profit after tax (OPAT) up by 14 per cent to US$2,653 million
  • Embedded value (EV) operating profit increased by 19 per cent to US$4,152 million
  • Operating return on EV (operating ROEV) up by 70 bps to 17.0 per cent 
Robust cash flow and resilient capital position
  • EV Equity of US$53.6 billion; EV of US$52.0 billion, up US$1.2 billion from 31 December 2017
  • Underlying free surplus generation of US$2,497 million, up 11 per cent on a comparable basis
  • Free surplus of US$13.7 billion
  • Solvency ratio for AIA Co., our principal operating company, of 458 per cent on the HKIO basis
Significant increase in interim dividend
  • 14 per cent increase in interim dividend to 29.20 Hong Kong cents per share
Ng Keng Hooi, AIA's Group Chief Executive and President, said:
"AIA achieved a very strong set of results in the first half of 2018 with VONB growth of 17 per cent to US$1,954 million as well as 14 per cent growth in IFRS operating profit. VONB for the period was up 24 per cent when excluding the retail IFA channel in our Hong Kong business which delivered an exceptional growth in the first half of 2017. These results are underpinned by the continued execution of our proven growth strategy and the scale, quality and breadth of AIA's exceptional businesses across the Asia-Pacific region.
"The Board has declared a 14 per cent increase in the interim dividend for 2018, reflecting the strength of AIA's financial results as well as our confidence in the outlook for the Group. This is in line with our prudent, sustainable and progressive dividend policy.
"AIA continues to hold a uniquely advantaged position stemming from the significant competitive advantages we have created over our long history in Asia. The quality of our results comes from our diverse and balanced platforms – across distribution, product and geography. Our clear strategy continues to work well as our experienced team of outstanding people collaborate to harness the enormous growth opportunities that the region presents.
"We remain confident that we will continue to execute our strategic priorities to realise AIA's full potential as we help millions of people to live healthier, longer, better lives."
AIA Singapore's Business Results in the First Half of 2018:
AIA Singapore outperformed industry growth with continued focus on customer centricity and efforts to enhance the bench strength of its distribution channels, contributing to sterling results in the first half of 2018:
  • Double digit growth in both Value of New Business (VONB) and Annualised New Premium (ANP), by 22% and 42% respectively to US$178M and US$290M
  • Strong profitability with 9% increase in IFRS Operating Profit After Tax (OPAT) to US$273M
Our market-leading agency force delivered very strong double-digit VONB growth with a focus on regular premium protection business. AIA Singapore continued to develop our professional, full-time agents and supplemented our recruitment and training programmes with innovative digital tools designed to enhance agency productivity. In the first half, we launched iConnect, which is a new mobile application that is integrated with our propensity models and helps agents to better engage with customers and tailor their advice to the needs of customers within their portfolio. Our focus on agency development has led to a 17 per cent increase in the number of active agents and a double-digit growth in agent productivity compared with the first half of 2017.
AIA Singapore's strategic partnership with Citibank generated excellent double-digit VONB growth through our sustained focus on enhancing the productivity of the bank's sales force and meeting the protection needs of its customers. Growth in the partnership was also supported by higher direct sales of simplified protection solutions to Citibank's credit card customer base.
We remained the leader in the group insurance business, driven by strong growth in both new premium of 33% ANP and renewal premium of 19% ANP, through both Broker and Agency channels.
Patrick Teow, Chief Executive Officer of AIA Singapore, said:
"I am heartened that our efforts invested in strengthening our fundamentals had led to the company growing from strength to strength.  This is reflected in the double digit growth in both Value of New Business (VONB) and Annualized New Premium (ANP) for the first half of the year which is a great achievement by the team.
Our commitment in health and wellness is also bearing fruits with AIA Vitality membership doubled over the last twelve months as we continue to inspire our customers to change their behaviour and lead healthier lifestyles.  We have also strengthened our healthcare proposition with the introduction of several new products and services such as Medix and AIA Pro Lifetime Protector. Through these initiatives, we aim to be a valued partner in our customers’ healthcare journey by taking a proactive approach in providing access to quality and affordable healthcare.
Moving forward, we are intensifying our efforts to transform our business in the areas of data and digitalization to better position us for the future and to improve customer experience. There is a lot more we can do to help customers bridge their protection gap and we are committed to help them live healthier, longer, better lives."
Key innovations developed based on deep customer insights in the first half of 2018 include:
  • Medix (Personal Medical Case Management Service) – AIA Singapore is the first insurer in Singapore to provide our customers with Personal Case Management Service with no additional charge. The exclusive partnership with Medix enables AIA Singapore customers to receive the best possible treatment and personalised ongoing support throughout their medical journey till recovery when faced with serious medical conditions, boosting customer experience with quality healthcare. Obtaining timely and accurate diagnosis and having access to optimal treatment will alleviate stress and provide peace of mind for customers and their families in their time of need.  
  • AIA Pro Lifetime Protector - To further understand the needs of our customers, AIA Singapore commissioned the AIA Parenthood and Protection Study 2017. Findings revealed that top concerns among young families include facing the risks of pregnancy complications, birth defects, long-term impact of a child's developmental and learning disorders and managing the high costs of raising a child.In response to these concerns, AIA Pro Lifetime Protector was launched in 2018, an all-in-one investment-linked plan, alongside three distinctive riders, with market-first features specially introduced to help address the unmet needs of young families in Singapore. The AIA Child Critical Cover rider provides coverage for developmental conditions such as Autism, Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The Double Critical Cover rider provides multi stage coverage of up to 200% which policyholders can claim against multiple times, and the AIA Baby Protector rider covers babies conceived under IVF, ICI, IUI and ICSI pregnancies.
  • Endorsed as a valued program partner of the Health Promotion Board's (HPB) Workplace Alliance for Health (WAH) Scheme – Riding on our efforts in 2017 to champion corporate health and wellness in Singapore, we continued to invest in our Vitality wellness platform by integrating Vitality across our products and events to engage our customers. Our efforts have been recognised, with AIA Singapore endorsed as a program partner of the HPB’s WAH Scheme. Co-funded by HPB, WAH offers private corporations an opportunity to introduce or enhance their wellness program for employees with an array of wellness solutions by WAH's selection of service providers.


About AIA
AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries (collectively "AIA" or the "Group") comprise the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group. It has a presence in 18 markets in Asia-Pacific – wholly-owned branches and subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Macau, Brunei, Cambodia, a 97 per cent subsidiary in Sri Lanka, a 49 per cent joint venture in India and a representative office in Myanmar.
The business that is now AIA was first established in Shanghai almost a century ago in 1919. It is a market leader in the Asia-Pacific region (ex-Japan) based on life insurance premiums and holds leading positions across the majority of its markets. It had total assets of US$221 billion as of 30 June 2018.
AIA meets the long-term savings and protection needs of individuals by offering a range of products and services including life insurance, accident and health insurance and savings plans. The Group also provides employee benefits, credit life and pension services to corporate clients. Through an extensive network of agents, partners and employees across Asia-Pacific, AIA serves the holders of 32 million individual policies and over 16 million participating members of group insurance schemes.
AIA Group Limited is listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the stock code "1299" with American Depositary Receipts (Level 1) traded on the over-the-counter market (ticker symbol: "AAGIY").
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Financial summary
Key performance highlights
New business performance by segment
(1) All figures are presented in actual reporting currency (US dollar) and based on actual exchange rates (AER) unless otherwise stated. Change on constant exchange rates (CER) is calculated using constant average exchange rates for the six months ended 30 June 2018 and for the six months ended 30 June 2017 other than for balance sheet items that use CER as at 30 June 2018 and as at 31 December 2017.
(2) Change is shown on a year-on-year basis unless otherwise stated.
(3) Long-term economic assumptions used in the EV basis for the interim results are the same as those shown as at 31 December 2017 in the supplementary embedded value information included in this document and consistent with those shown as at 30 November 2017 in our Annual Report 2017. Non-economic assumptions used in the EV basis are based on those at 31 December 2017 updated to reflect AIA's view of the latest experience observed.
(4) VONB is calculated based on assumptions applicable at the point of sale and before deducting the amount attributable to non-controlling interests. The amounts of VONB attributable to non-controlling interests in the six months ended 30 June 2018 and in the six months ended 30 June 2017 were US$13 million and US$11 million respectively.
(5) VONB includes pension business. ANP and VONB margin exclude pension business.
(6) IFRS operating profit after tax is shown after non-controlling interests unless otherwise stated.
(7) Operating ROEV is measured on an annualised basis.
(8) The 11 per cent growth of underlying free surplus generated is calculated on a comparable basis before the reduction of US$141 million in the first half of 2018 relating to the change in reserving and capital requirements for consolidation purposes following the subsidiarisation of AIA Korea.
(9) Interim dividends for 2018 and 2017 were declared for the seven months ended 30 June 2018 and the six months ended 31 May 2017, respectively.
(10) Hong Kong refers to operations in Hong Kong and Macau; Singapore refers to operations in Singapore and Brunei; and Other Markets refers to operations in Australia (including New Zealand), Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Vietnam and India. The results of our joint venture in India are accounted for using the equity method. For clarity, TWPI, ANP and VONB exclude any contribution from India.
(11) AIA's financial information in this document is based on the unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and supplementary embedded value information for the six months ended 30 June 2018.
This document contains forward-looking statements relating to AIA Group Limited that are based on the beliefs of the Group's management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to the Group's management. These forward-looking statements are, by their nature, subject to significant risks and uncertainties. When used in this document, the words "will", "future" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. You are strongly cautioned that reliance on any forward-looking statements involves known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results and events may differ materially from information contained in the forward-looking statements.
This document is for information purposes only and does not constitute an invitation or offer by any person to acquire, purchase or subscribe for securities. This document is not, and is not intended to be, an offer of securities for sale in the United States. The securities of AIA Group Limited have not been, and will not be, registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act") and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements under the U.S. Securities Act. There is not, and is not intended to be, any public offering of such securities in the United States.
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1The Company announced the Group's unaudited consolidated results for the seven months ended 30 June 2018 today. In February 2018, the Board resolved to change the Company's financial year-end date from 30 November to 31 December. Accordingly, the current financial period-end date of the Company is 31 December 2018. The interim condensed consolidated financial statements adopting the new year-end date is for the seven months ended 30 June 2018 with the comparative figures prepared based on the six months ended 31 May 2017. For details, please visit for the Company's 2018 Interim Results Announcement published today.