Great Eastern's Q4 profit falls 11% to S$195.2m

GREAT Eastern Holdings on Monday reported an 11 per cent drop in net profit to S$195.2 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2016, on the back of lower profit from insurance business.

For the full year, its net profit fell 25 per cent to S$589.3 million. This was due to lower non-operating profit, lower profit from shareholders' fund's investments and a loss on disposal of the group's Vietnam business of S$18.7 million, said the unit of OCBC Bank.

During the year, the group's total weighted new sales rose 11 per cent with sales surpassing the S$1 billion mark, driven by strong contributions from both agency and bancassurance channels.

Its new business embedded value, a measure of long-term economic profitability, recorded a strong 22 per cent growth over the year to S$466.2 million.

Great Eastern group CEO Khor Hock Seng said the group will continue to strengthen its business model, prudently manage costs and improve operational efficiencies. "We will continue to look at innovative ways to enhance our service level and enrich customer experience through digitalisation and analytics."

The group directors have recommended a final dividend of 40 cents per share, payable on May 8 upon approval. This brings the total dividends for the financial year 2016 to 50 cents per share, down from 55 cents in 2015.

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