Great Eastern Holdings recorded earnings of $437.6 million for the 1QFY2021 ended March, 12.9 times higher than the $33.9 million recorded for the previous year.

In its 1QFY2021 business update released on May 3, Great Easter attributes the higher earnings to higher valuation of investments amid more favourable financial market conditions compared to a year ago.

The surge in earnings also follows growth in total weighted new sales, which climbed 28% y-o-y to $383.6 million for the period on the back of double-digit sales growth across all markets compared to the previous year. 

New business embedded value (NBEV) for the 1QFY2021 was up 30% y-o-y to $182.2 million, in tandem with the higher sales, as well as an improvement in margins. NBEV margin for the quarter came in at 47.5%, compared to 46.9% a year ago.

SEE:Great Eastern Holdings' 3Q earnings rise 40% to $287.9 mil on higher valuation of investments and improved market conditions

Profit from the insurance business jumped 424% y-o-y to $397 million, largely driven by the rebound from a non-operating loss of $222.8 million in the 1QFY2020 to a non-operating profit of $214.7 million in the 1QFY2021 following mark-to-market gains from favourable market conditions.

However, operating profit from the insurance business fell 39% y-o-y to $182.3 million due to positive one-off items recorded for the 1QFY2020, including the adoption of the RBC 2 framework in Singapore and the release of unallocated surplus in Malaysia.

Profit (net of tax) from shareholders’ fund came in at $46.4 million for the period on the back of mark-to-market gains in equities, a turnaround from the $41.9 million loss recorded for the 1QFY2020.

The group states the capital adequacy ratios of its insurance subsidiaries in both Singapore and Malaysia “remain strong” and well above their respective minimum regulatory levels. 

Khor Hock Seng, group CEO of Great Eastern, says that the group has “started the year well” with the results achieved. “Our strong performance is anchored on our multi-channel distribution capabilities, complemented by our digital solutions and services as well as comprehensive suite of products,” he says.

Shares in Great Eastern closed 26 cents or 1.12% lower at $22.96 on April 30.