May 17, 2022
- New business value (NBV) margin improved with product mix shifting towards health protection
- Higher number of medical policies sold compared with the first quarter of 2021
- Agent numbers increased 7% year-on-year with record digital adoption achieved
- Core earnings growth showed strong resilience despite the pandemic’s impact on annualized premium equivalent (APE) sales
Hong Kong – The Manulife group of companies operating in Hong Kong and Macau (“Manulife Hong Kong”) today announced first quarter of 2022 results, further reinforcing the strength and resilience of its franchise. The Company posted its 19th consecutive quarter of core earnings growth with improved overall margins, driven by higher year-on-year health sales. Manulife’s agency force in Hong Kong and Macau grew and achieved record levels of digital platform adoption.
“Manulife Hong Kong has once again demonstrated its resilience, despite the fifth wave of COVID-19 which impacted the Hong Kong economy, the insurance industry and hence our APE sales. We succeeded in expanding our agency force whilst growing core earnings and investing strongly in our operations and people. Notwithstanding the challenges created by COVID, our core earnings, NBV and APE sales all exceeded pre-pandemic levels in 2019,” said Damien Green, Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Hong Kong and Macau.
First quarter results overview:
- Core earnings up 1% to HK$1.71 billion
- APE sales down 23% to HK$1.31 billion
- NBV down 20% to HK$0.91 billion
- NBV margin up 3.0 percentage points to 69.1%
- Number of agents: 11,457 at March 31, 2022, up 7% from the end of the first quarter of 2021
- Mandatory Provident Funds (MPF) market share: Manulife Hong Kong was the largest MPF service provider with a market share of 26.9% based on assets under management as at March 31, 2022, up 2.2 percentage points from the end of the prior year quarter. It had a 37.0% share based on estimated net cash flows for the period from January 1 to March 31, 2022.
Core earnings increased by 1% to HK$1.71 billion from HK$1.69 billion in the same quarter of 2021. The increase reflected in-force business growth, favourable new business product mix, and experience gains offset by lower new business volumes amid the impact of COVID-19 containment measures in Hong Kong.
APE sales were HK$1.31 billion, down 23% from HK$1.70 billion in the first quarter of 2021. The decrease in sales was driven by tighter containment measures following an outbreak of COVID-19 during the quarter, and limitations on travel between Hong Kong and mainland China that continued to impact cross-border economic activities.
NBV was HK$0.91 billion in the first quarter of 2022, a decrease of 20% from HK$1.12 billion in the prior year quarter due to lower sales volumes, partially offset by favorable new business product mix and higher sales of medical plans. NBV margin was 69.1% in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 3.0 percentage points compared with the prior year quarter.
“It’s encouraging to see people become more health conscious during the prolonged pandemic. We have seen a strong demand in health protection products in the first quarter, as evidenced by a 16% year-on-year growth in the number of medical policies sold. The number of new Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) plans sold before the end of tax season in March also recorded a 30% increase year-on-year,” added Mr. Green.
At the start of the fifth pandemic wave, Manulife Hong Kong launched a series of extra and free of charge coverage for customers in relation to vaccination side effects, COVID-19 testing and diagnosis.
In the first quarter, Manulife Hong Kong obtained approval from the Insurance Authority’s Insurtech Sandbox to extend its virtual face-to-face selling platform to all insurance products, thus enabling agents to complete their sales process with customers while minimizing the risk of infection. The company’s enhanced electronic point-of-sales tool (“ePOS”), which provides a smoother and personalized customer experience, achieved an adoption rate of 80% at the end of the first quarter.
The company recently launched the Manulife Health Resilience Program for the Elderly with Christian Family Service Centre to provide 1,000 online medical consultations for needy seniors in the Kwun Tong and Wong Tai Sin districts, with end-to-end support to help them rebuild their health from home. The Program includes online consultations with Chinese and Western medical practitioners and delivery of medicine.
“As a leading insurer in Hong Kong for the past 125 years, we see ourselves as having a role to contribute to the community's recovery from the pandemic. We strived to protect our customers with special COVID-19 coverage and to help our distributors stay active through digital initiatives. We have extended our care for the community through efforts such as donating rapid test kits at the start of the latest outbreak and launching a scalable health and well-being program to help the elderly become more health resilient. We are committed to making a positive impact in the community as Hong Kong continues its recovery,” said Mr. Green.
About Manulife Hong Kong
Manulife Hong Kong, through Manulife International Holdings Limited, owns Manulife (International) Limited, Manulife Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited and Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company Limited. As a member of the Manulife group of companies, Manulife Hong Kong offers a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individual and corporate customers in Hong Kong and Macau.
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services provider that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we provide financial advice and insurance, operating as Manulife across Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Through Manulife Investment Management, the global brand for our global wealth and asset management segment, we serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. At the end of 2021, we had more than 38,000 employees, over 119,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 33 million customers. Our principal operations are in Asia and Canada, and the United States, where we have served customers for more than 160 years. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong. In the previous 12 months we made CAD$32.7 billion in payments to our customers.
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Jacqueline Kam / Rina Kwan
Manulife (International) Limited
Tel: (852) 2202 1284 / 2510 5644