SUMMARY FOR THE THIRD QUARTER
VONB increased by 25 per cent on constant exchange rates maintaining the strong momentum achieved in the first half of 2015. VONB growth was 18 per cent in reporting currency. Each of our geographical market segments, except for Korea, delivered strong double-digit VONB growth on constant exchange rates compared with the third quarter of 2014.
AIA’s business in China continued to deliver excellent VONB growth driven by a combination of increased active agent numbers, higher agent productivity levels and a high-quality product mix. The consistent execution of our Premier Agency strategy differentiates the quality of AIA’s product and service offering and enables us to access the substantial growth opportunities in the significantly under-penetrated protection and long-term savings markets in China.
Other highlights of the quarter included another strong performance in Hong Kong with VONB growth benefiting from a double-digit increase in the number of active agents and continued strong growth momentum in Thailand and Singapore, driven by further margin expansion, again maintaining the positive trend established in the first half of the year.
Malaysia achieved excellent VONB growth on constant exchange rates from higher agent productivity driving strong ANP growth and the result of our strategy of focusing on regular premium products with protection riders. Korea reported lower VONB compared with the third quarter of 2014 following continued challenging market conditions, as noted in the first half results.
Other Markets delivered excellent VONB growth compared with the third quarter of 2014 due to strong performances across our markets, in particular Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
VONB margin increased by 5.3 pps to 52.7 per cent for the first nine months of the year and 8.4 pps to 57.6 per cent in the third quarter on constant exchange rates. The main reason for the margin movement in the quarter was a positive product mix shift, with smaller contributions from geographical mix, channel mix and others. Economic assumptions remain unchanged for the quarter from those shown in our Annual Report 2014. Margin on a present value of new business premium (PVNBP) basis was 9 per cent for the first nine months of the year compared with 8 per cent in the prior year period. ANP increased by 7 per cent on constant exchange rates to US$936 million in the third quarter of 2015 with strong growth in regular premium business partially offset by lower single premium volumes.
TWPI increased by 7 per cent to US$4,846 million compared with the third quarter of 2014 on constant exchange rates.