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Great Eastern's Q3 profit up 21%

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Great Eastern Holdings on Tuesday posted net profit of S$235.5 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017, 21 per cent higher than last year's S$195 million.

GREAT Eastern Holdings on Tuesday posted net profit of S$235.5 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017, 21 per cent higher than last year's S$195 million.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, the group's net profit was S$732.9 million, up 86 per cent from the same period a year ago.

"This increase was due to higher operating and non-operating profit, as well as higher profit from shareholders' fund's investments," the company said.

Gross premiums for the third quarter rose 33 per cent to S$3.1 billion from S$2.34 billion.

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Similarly, profit from the group's insurance business for the third quarter was S$208.6 million, up 22 per cent from S$171.1 million the previous year. This was mainly due to higher contributions from Great Eastern's Singapore business and gains in its investments from favourable financial market conditions as compared to last year, the group said.

Profit from the shareholders' fund's investment in the third quarter fell by 10 per cent to S$53.4 million. However, taken together, profit from shareholders' funds for the nine months this year rose 72 per cent to S$184.2 million.

Earnings per share came up to 50 Singapore cents, from 41 Singapore cents the previous year.

No interim dividend has been declared for this quarter.

Looking ahead, the group's performance may be affected by volatility in global financial markets, Great Eastern said.

"Over the longer term, the key indicators to watch are the direction of interest rates, equity prices and foreign exchange rates," it said.