Great Eastern’s profit falls 26% for Q3

The decline in profits were due to lower operating and non-operating profit from its insurance business.

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Great Eastern Holdings (GE), the insurance arm of OCBC bank on Monday announced a S$213.3 million profit for the first quarter, 26% lower than the S$287.5 million profit compared to the same period a year ago. The decline in profits were due to lower operating and non-operating profit from its insurance business.

Higher profit from the shareholder’s fund helped provide a boost in profits, the Singapore Exchange mainboard-listed firm said.

The firm registered a 14% rise in total weighted new sales from a year ago at S$347.1 million for the three months from July to September, supported by growth in Singapore and Malaysia, said GE. Gross premiums rose 14% to S$3.54 billion.

Operating profit for the period fell by 11% year-on-year to S$141.4 million, lower from a year ago due to the release of reserves that came from repositioning maturity profile of assets and liabilities last year.

Commenting on the results, Mr Khor Hock Seng, group chief executive of GE said: “The group continued to build on the sales momentum from last quarter, delivering steady sales growth during the quarter. Our positive third quarter 2018 performance is the result of improved productivity of our distribution channels and introduction of new products in our core markets.”

Mr Khor spoke on the group’s digitalization efforts such as the recent pilot of interactive financial planning tool GreatAdvice, which Mr Khor claims would equip the firm’s financial representatives to deliver greater value in helping customers better manage risks.

GE shares opened flat on Monday morning, at S$25.62.

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