SINGAPORE (Aug 1): Great Eastern Holdings reported earnings of $237.6 million for the 2Q ended June, 3% higher than the $231.6 million posted a year ago.

Its management attributes the latest quarter’s strong performance to new sales growth, improved productivity of distribution channels and the introduction of new products in core markets.

The latest set of results brings the group’s half-year earnings $390.5 million for 1H18, up 21% from $322.4 million previously.  

Total weighted new sales (TWNS) for 2Q18 grew 28% on-year to $326.7 million compared to $256 million previously, which the management attributes to better performance of both the agency and bancassurance channels in the core markets.

Quarterly gross premiums grew 33% to $3.3 billion from $2.5 billion.

New Business Embedded Value (NBEV) rose 8% to $139.5 million from $128.7 million previously.

While both operating and non-operating profit fell 3%  and 29% to $153 million and $19 million, respectively, from that of a year ago, profit from shareholders’ fund’s investments registered a 40% y-o-y growth to $69.1 million compared to $49.2 million a year ago.

As at end-June, cash and cash equivalents stood at $53.3 million, more than double from $20.6 million as at end-Dec 2017.

Great Eastern’s board has declared an interim dividend of 10 cents for FY18, which is to be paid out on 31 Aug.  

“Our priority remains on delivering the right solutions to meet the needs of our customers, leveraging on our comprehensive suite of products and strong distribution capabilities, while continuing to push forward our digitalisation transformation to better serve our customers and distribution channels,” says Khor Hock Seng, Great Eastern’s group chief executive officer.

“GETGREAT and UPGREAT, our two digital engagement platforms launched recently have gained much traction. GETGREAT empowers our users and the community to live healthier and better. UPGREAT is an all in one lifestyle rewards platform for users as Page 3 of 4 well as family and friends. Since launch, the platforms have had more than 1.5 million interactions. More features will be added to the platforms in the coming months,” he adds.

Shares of Great Eastern closed 13 cents higher at $27.63 on Tuesday.