Ping An Insurance’s net profit climbs 6.5% in H1

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PING An Insurance (Group) Co, China’s second largest insurer by market value, said yesterday net profit rose 6.5 percent year on year in the first half, with stronger contribution from retail businesses and new technology.

Net profit totaled 43.43 billion yuan (US$6.51 billion) in the first six months, the group said a statement today, adding that the profit growth would have been 38.8 percent year on year if a 9.5 billion yuan profit from Ping An’s restructuring of a financing unit for the first half of 2016 was excluded.

Ping An more than doubled its interim dividend to 0.50 yuan per share.

The company’s life insurance business posted a 34.8 percent year on year jump in net profit to 22.6 billion yuan and the new business value — an indicator for expected profit from new premiums — generated by the life and health insurance business surged 46.2 percent annually.

Premium income from the non-life unit climbed 23.5 percent. The insurer’s market share rose 1.5 percentage points year on year, the statement said.

Ping An’s banking unit, which is undergoing transformation toward retail banking, said net profit rose 2.1 percent on year in the first half, below the annual rise of 3.4 percent in 2016.

The proportion of retail business income rose to 40 percent of the total revenue by the end of the first half from 29 percent in the same period last year.

The group’s core financial business saw the number of individual clients rising 9.3 percent from the beginning of the year to 143 million, and profit contribution per capita adding 18.5 percent year on year to 241.66 yuan.

The group also runs Internet finance business via Lufax Holding, Ping An Good Doctor, and Finance One Account.

“In the near future, we hope to transform Ping An from a capital-driven enterprise into a technology-driven one,” said Peter Ma, chairman and chief executive officer of Ping An.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission said gross premium income at insurers rose 23 percent on year in the first half to 2.31 trillion yuan, below the 37-percent gain in the same period last year.

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