Ng Keng Hooi, AIA’s Group Chief Executive and President, said:
“AIA has delivered double-digit increases in our main financial metrics in the first half of 2019, continuing our consistent track record of growth. Value of new business increased by 20 per cent to a record half-year result of US$2,275 million for the Group. We also generated a 12 per cent increase in operating profit after tax and 15 per cent growth in underlying free surplus generation.
“The Board has declared a 14 per cent increase in interim dividend for 2019. This reflects our continued strong financial performance and demonstrates our confidence in the outlook for the Group.
“AIA’s wholly-owned business in China was our fastest growing market segment with excellent growth of 34 per cent in VONB. I am also pleased that our new sales and service centres in Tianjin and Shijiazhuang, Hebei commenced operations at the end of July. Our business in Hong Kong once again performed strongly with a 19 per cent increase in VONB, benefiting from broad-based growth across customer segments and distribution channels.
“VONB growth of our operations in Thailand and Malaysia was supported by our sustained focus on enhancing agent professionalism and developing our strategic bancassurance partnerships. Within our Other Markets, 17 per cent growth in VONB was driven by strong performances in Australia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
“AIA’s proprietary agency distribution delivered 21 per cent growth in VONB as our Premier Agency strategy achieved a further increase in active agents and productivity. I am delighted that AIA continues to rank number one in the world for Million Dollar Round Table members with more than 12,000 registered members. VONB from our partnership business increased by 17 per cent, supported by excellent growth of our multiple bancassurance partnerships across the region.
“In June, AIA’s brand was recognised as Asia’s Number One Insurance Brand*. Our purpose-led brand promise, Healthier, Longer, Better Lives, exemplifies our commitment to become a lifelong partner to our customers. The ongoing success of AIA Vitality demonstrates our focus on customer centricity and membership of our wellness programmes exceeded 1.5 million at the end of June.
“AIA’s excellent performance in the first half of 2019 is a clear reflection of our consistent focus on executing our strategic priorities and is underpinned by our significant competitive advantages in the Asia-Pacific region. While we are not immune to market volatility, our diversified, robust and high-quality business model continues to place AIA in an advantaged position in the Asian life insurance markets where growth fundamentals remain resilient.
“As we celebrate our centennial this year, we remain very confident about the long-term outlook for AIA. We will continue to focus on delivering long-term sustainable value for our shareholders and helping millions of our customers live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.”