SHANGHAI and HONG KONG, April 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter "Ping An", the "Company" or the "Group") (HKEX: 2318) (SSE: 601318) today announced its results for the three months ended March 31, 2018.
In the first quarter, Ping An's net profit grew by 12.5% year on year to RMB 28,951 million. The net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company increased by 11.5% year on year to RMB 25,702 million. The operating profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company rose by 17.7% year on year to RMB 28,200 million. On the basis of insurance subsidiaries' profit data in their respective statutory financial statements prepared under the old accounting standards for financial instruments, the Group's net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company would be RMB 30,548 million, up 32.5% year on year. To reward shareholders, the Company proposes to pay a 30th Anniversary Special Dividend of RMB 0.20/share in cash totalling RMB 3,656 million.
In the first quarter, Ping An continued to implement the strategy of pursuing "finance + technology" and furthering "finance + ecosystem", and improve products and services to realize stable, healthy business growth. The written premium of the life and health insurance business grew by 24.9% year on year to RMB 230,585 million, with a value of new business ("NBEV") of RMB 19,897 million and an NBEV margin of 30.2%. The property and casualty insurance business boosted its premium income by 17.8% year on year to RMB 63,217 million while maintaining a better than industry combined ratio of 95.9%. Ping An Bank's strategic transformation towards retail banking generated significant effects: retail assets under management and retail deposits grew by 9.2% and 13.4% respectively, compared with the beginning of 2018.
Ping An's customers and users continued to increase. As of March 31, 2018, Ping An's retail customers increased by 25.4% year on year to 173 million, of whom 29.7% held contracts with multiple subsidiaries; 12.52 million new customers were acquired in the first quarter. The Group's internet business developed further. As of March 31, 2018, Ping An's internet users increased by 22.0% year on year to 459 million, including 394 million app users (up 48.8% year on year).
With technology-powered business transformation, Ping An constantly strengths R&D of core technologies and control of proprietary intellectual property rights. As of March 31, 2018, Ping An's patent applications increased to 4,418, up by 1,388 from the beginning of the year.
Core Finance Business: The life and health insurance business' written premium expanded by 24.9%. Ping An Property & Casualty achieved a better than industry combined ratio of 95.9%. Ping An Bank's retail banking business maintained steady growth
Benefiting from steady growth in renewal premiums, the life and health insurance business' written premium grew by 24.9% year on year to RMB 230,585 million. In the first quarter of 2018, the first-year premium of the life and health insurance business declined by 16.6% year on year as interest rates rose and savings products became less attractive. Meanwhile, the Company proactively adjusted the business mix and promoted long-term protection products to increase business value, boosting the NBEV margin of life and health insurance business by 3.0 pps year on year to 30.2%.
In the first quarter of 2018, Ping An Property & Casualty recorded steady business growth and boosted the premium income by 17.8% year on year to RMB 63,217 million. Besides, Ping An P&C maintained sound overall business quality and a better than industry combined ratio of 95.9%. In the first quarter of 2018, Ping An P&C further reduced the turnaround time of "510 City Superfast Onsite Investigation". In March, 95.4% of daytime auto accidents in cities requiring on-site investigation were investigated within 5-10 minutes.
As of March 31, 2018, the Company's investment portfolio of insurance funds grew to RMB 2.56 trillion by 4.4% from the beginning of 2018. In the first quarter, under new accounting standards for financial instruments, the portfolio's annualized net investment yield and annualized total investment yield were 3.7% and 3.7% respectively.
The banking business maintained steady growth and the strategic transformation towards retail banking generated significant effects. As of March 31, 2018, Ping An Bank's retail assets under management ("AUM") grew to RMB 1,186,386 million by 9.2% from the beginning of 2018. Retail customers (including debit and credit card holders) increased to 73,625.7 thousand persons by 5.3% from the beginning of 2018. Retail deposits increased to RMB 386,529 million by 13.4% from the beginning of 2018. Retail loans (including credit card loans) grew to RMB 928,682 million by 9.4% from the beginning of 2018.
Fintech and Healthtech Business: As Ping An further implemented strategies, four "unicorns" maintained rapid growth in various businesses.
As China's leading online wealth management and personal lending technology platform, in the first quarter of 2018, Lufax Holding further enhanced its profitability. Lufax Holding's wealth management business expanded to an ending AUM of RMB 442,943 million. In personal lending, Lufax Holding exploited product and channel advantages, and boosted loans under management to RMB 303,826 million by 5.3% from the beginning of 2018. Services for financial institutions and the government grew steadily. The institutional trading volume on Lufax's platform totaled RMB 1,149,961 million.
Ping An Good Doctor is committed to building the world's largest health care ecosystem and using technologies to make people healthier. Ping An Good Doctor focuses on providing online family doctor services via its in-house medical team and AI assistant, and various offline services via a health partnership network.
OneConnect is committed to building a world-leading, strategically-empowering fintech platform. So far, OneConnect has launched leading technologies such as Smart Banking Cloud, Smart Insurance Cloud, and Smart Investment Cloud. The Smart Insurance Cloud has signed cooperation agreements with 23 insurers. As of March 31, 2018, OneConnect had provided one-stop fintech solutions for 478 banks and over 1,970 non-bank financial institutions, and processed over 180 million credit inquiries initiated by financial institutions in the first quarter.
Ping An Healthcare Technology is committed to building China's best tech-powered managed care service platform. Social health insurance services have covered over 200 cities across China. Over 2,200 hospitals have connected with Ping An Healthcare Technology's automatic operations network for private insurance. The "City OneConnect" app has covered 38 cities. Moreover, Ping An Healthcare Technology has developed an AI-based private insurance risk management system based on personal health risk profiling, and made initial achievements in applying the system to private insurance claims
Prospects of Future Development
According to Chairman Ma Mingzhe, against the backdrop of tighter financial regulation, accelerating financial reform and further "Internet Plus", Ping An will pursue technology-powered business transformation to achieve the strategic goal of becoming a "world-leading technology-powered personal financial services group". Focusing on two major industries of pan financial assets and pan health care, Ping An is developing five ecosystems of "financial services, health care, auto services, real estate services, and smart city services" to create greater value for customers and investors. Moreover, Ping An will proactively answer the call of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee to fight a key battle of poverty alleviation by carrying out the Three-village Project to develop rural areas. Turning 30, Ping An will continue to closely follow national policies and macro-strategies, reward the nation and society, and make contributions to the Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in a new era.