- Measure of new business profit grew 34% to RM590 million
- Focus on organic recruitment generated 29% increase in active Life Planners
Kuala Lumpur, 16 March 2015 – AIA Bhd. achieved strong growth across all its distribution channels with an overall increase of 34% in value of new business (VONB) – an important measure of new business profit for insurers -- for the year ended 30 November 2014. The strong performance placed AIA Bhd. as AIA Group’s second largest growth market by VONB terms in Asia Pacific. Operating profit after tax rose by 12% to RM1.02 billion, reflecting positive underlying business growth and improved product profitability. The company paid out more than 4.2 million individual claims last year.
Takaful VONB increased by more than 50% from a year ago as AIA PUBLIC Takaful Bhd.benefited from the distribution strength of AIA’s 17,000-strong Life Planner force in Malaysia and the launch of a comprehensive recruitment strategy that more than doubled the number of new recruits joining AIA compared with 2013.
Bill Lisle, Chief Executive Officer of AIA Bhd. said, “AIA Malaysia’s outstanding results, which follow an equally strong financial performance in 2013, are a clear indication that our business transformation strategy and focused execution are delivering the desired results. More importantly, these results reflect the significant progress we have made over the past year to further bridge the wide protection and savings gaps that exist in Malaysia.”
To enhance its product offering, AIA Bhd. launched a series of new riders that can be attached to basic plans to boost cover and benefits tailored to the needs of the different market segments namely women, young adults as well as young and mature families. VONB from this investment-linked segment grew by 38% compared with 2013.
In addition, AIA Bhd.’s exclusive bancassurance partnership with Public Bank made a material contribution to VONB with a growth of 31%. The expansion of its product offering and training of in-branch sales executives have increased productivity and improved the product mix.
The life insurer’s market-leading group insurance business also performed strongly with the successful launch of its pre-retirement health product A-Health Maximiser, delivering 60% VONB growth compared with 2013.
To strengthen its distribution footprint, AIA Bhd.continued to focus on the active recruitment of full-time Life Planners.New recruitment programmes were targeted at the under-35 age group and contributed to a 29% increase in the number of active new Life Planners last year.“By adding new Life Planners, we are able to reach a wider segment of the population to drive consumer education on life insurance and address customers’ under-served life stage needs,” Lisle explained at media briefing held today.
“Our latest results reaffirm that we are on the right track and well positioned to capture the key opportunities in Malaysia’s life insurance industry.There still exists a large protection gap here with the latest statistics pointing to an average sum assured per person of RM38,500, whereas it should be in the region of RM200,000,” Lisle said, adding that while the penetration rate has risen to 54%, this is still far from the Government’s target of 75% penetration by 2020.
In 2015, AIA Bhd.will step up efforts to widen its distribution footprint through active recruitment of full-time life planners and by strengthening its bank partnerships.Plans to expand AIA’s Takaful business will be supported by the launch of new Shariah solutions to further unlock the immense growth opportunity in the family Takaful space where penetration stands at only 15% currently.
Technology will continue to play a key role in boosting the convenience factor for AIA customers in Malaysia. These efforts will build on the innovative interactive point of sales tool (iPoS) launched by AIA Bhd.two years ago that enables policy applications to be submitted electronically after a customer’s signature has been captured biometrically. Several service transformation initiatives have also been earmarked for launch in 2015 to enhance its customers’ purchasing and service experiences.