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Great Eastern's Q3 profit falls 26%

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Great Eastern Holdings (GE), the insurance arm of OCBC Bank, announced it had turned a profit of S$213.3 million for its third fiscal quarter, down 26 per cent from S$287.5 million in the year-ago period.

GREAT Eastern Holdings (GE), the insurance arm of OCBC Bank, announced it had turned a profit of S$213.3 million for its third fiscal quarter, down 26 per cent from S$287.5 million in the year-ago period.

Mainboard-listed GE said the fall was due to lower operating profit and non-operating profit from its insurance business, but offset by higher profit from the shareholder's fund.

That was despite gross premiums rising 14 per cent to S$3.54 billion. Total weighted new sales similarly rose 14 per cent to S$347.1 million, boosted by growth in Singapore and Malaysia, GE said.

For Q3 2018, operating profit from GE's insurance business was S$141.4 million, dipping 11 per cent compared with the same period last year due to the release of reserves arising from repositioning of the maturity profile of the assets and liabilities last year, the insurer said.

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"The group continued to build on the sales momentum from last quarter, delivering steady sales growth during the quarter. Our positive Q3 2018 performance is the result of improved productivity of our distribution channels and introduction of new products in our core markets, said group chief executive Khor Hock Seng.

"We have made good strides in our digitalisation transformation which is focused on creating seamless customer experience and empower customers to make more informed decisions regarding their needs," Mr Khor said.