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|Ng Keng Hooi, AIA’s group chief executive and president|
AIA's growth rates are shown on a constant exchange rate basis, while the operating profit generation of the company was strong, along with cash flow and resilient capital position, and strong increases in recommended final dividend.
Telling VIR about the excellent business results of AIA last year, Ng Keng Hooi, AIA’s group chief executive and president confirmed the excellent performance with double-digit growth across the main financial metrics. The value of new business (VONB) increased by 22 per cent to reach a new record of $3.955 billion.
"We also achieved strong growth of 13 per cent in both operating after-tax profit and underlying free surplus generation. These very strong results were achieved against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and financial market volatility," said Ng Keng Hooi.
"Our business in China delivered an excellent performance with VONB growth of 30 per cent. I am also delighted that we recently received approval to set up sales and service centres in Tianjin and Shijiazhuang, Hebei. Hong Kong delivered another very strong performance with 24 per cent VONB growth and VONB in Singapore grew by 18 per cent. Thailand returned to growth with VONB up 12 per cent, as our agency transformation delivered tangible results," he added.
AIA’s agency channel had another excellent year with 26 per cent VONB growth and the group now has more than 10,000 Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) members. In partnerships, AIA's bank channel delivered 18 per cent VONB growth and activated four new strategic partnerships, including with Bangkok Bank in Thailand and SK Telecom in Korea.
“Our brand promise, Healthier, Longer, Better Lives, epitomises our commitment to customers as AIA shifts towards being a partner for life with wellness as a key focus. Membership of our wellness programmes exceeded 1.2 million, transforming engagement and delivering meaningful health improvements for our customers," said Ng Keng Hooi.
According to the AIA’s group chief executive and president, these strong results are underpinned by AIA's diversified, robust, and high-quality business model, together with a relentless focus on capturing the significant opportunities presented by the long-term structural drivers of growth across Asian insurance markets.
“The Board has recommended an increase of 14 per cent in the 2018 final dividend and a special dividend of 9.50 Hong Kong cents (1 US cent) per share due to the change in financial year-end date. The dividends reflect the strength of AIA’s financial results and our confidence in the outlook for the group,” said Hooi.
“The scale, quality, and breadth of AIA’s exceptional businesses across the Asia-Pacific region, combined with our unrivalled distribution capabilities, trusted brand, financial strength, and innovation capabilities, enable us to meet the evolving needs of our customers for protection and long-term savings as we help them to live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives,” he added.
“We enter 2019, our centennial year, with confidence about our long-term outlook. AIA has always been committed to providing financial protection and driving economic and social development across the region. Our centenary gives us the opportunity to reaffirm our commitments and our focus on delivering long-term sustainable value for our shareholders,” he confirmed.