Great Eastern Holdings said on Wednesday that its net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30 fell 31 per cent to S$194.6 million due to lower unrealised mark-to-market gains.
For the third quarter, the group's operating profit from insurance business of S$149 million was 8 per cent higher than in the same quarter last year, driven by higher contributions from non-participating funds and investment-linked funds. The better performance was underpinned by the group's growing in-force business, as well as higher investment income in the Singapore non-participating fund.
But total weighted new sales of S$213.9 million in the third quarter was 22 per cent lower than in the year-ago period. This was because the number of policies maturing in the third quarter last year peaked and the strong take-up of new products offered to customers of those policies bolstered sales during the period.
Given lower gains from sale of investments, profit from investments in shareholders' fund in the third quarter slipped 4 per cent to S$44.4 million.
Acting group CEO Norman Ip noted that the group has continued to deliver growth in operating profit and achieved improvement in margins by shifting its channel and product mix.
"Nonetheless, we are aware of the challenges posed by upcoming regulatory developments and increasingly intense competition. We will thus continue to invest in expertise, systems and processes to enable us to operate more efficiently in this new environment," he said.