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AIA Singapore operating profit rises 6% to US$583m in 2019

INSURER AIA Singapore posted a 6 per cent rise in operating profit after tax to US$583 million for fiscal 2019 from US$558 million a year ago, it said on Thursday.

Underlying premium growth was partly offset by continuing pressure on the profitability of its HealthShield portfolio, the Hong Kong-based company said.

Value of new business (VONB) was marginally lower at US$352 million from US$357 million a year ago due to the firm's "disciplined approach" to the pricing of single-premium high net worth products through its partnership distribution channels despite intensifying competition, it said.

"During the year, we delivered an increase in the number of active agents and this supported modest VONB growth from our agency," said AIA Singapore.

VONB margin remained consistent at 65.5 per cent in 2019 versus 65.4 per cent in 2018.

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Globally, AIA's VONB was up 6 per cent in 2019 from a year ago, but growth slowed as months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong weighed on sales.

AIA Singapore's annualised new premiums were down slightly to US$538 million from US$547 million due to growth in regular premium new business being offset by lower single-premium sales in AIA's partnership distribution channels.

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