The FINANCIAL -- Allianz continued its successful course in Asia-Pacific and achieved another strong end-of-year result for 2014. Total revenue was reported at 7.9 billion euros compared with 7.2 billion euros in the previous year, an increase of 9 percent.
In many markets, the two segments - Property and Casualty, and Life and Health - delivered impressive double-digit growth. Operating profit amounted to 429 million euros in 2014, up 17 percent on last year’s profit of 367 million euros, according to Allianz.
Commenting on the performance, Manuel Bauer, Allianz SE Board Member responsible for Insurance Growth Markets, said, “In 2014, our entities in the Asia Pacific region delivered an excellent set of results. The Asia Pacific region is one of the most attractive and resilient regions globally and we are pleased that Allianz achieved double-digit growth in numerous countries and across both the Property and Casualty and Life and Health segments.”
Property and Casualty insurance premiums up by 9 percent
The results in the area of Property and Casualty insurance in Asia-Pacific remained solid. Gross written premiums grew by 9 percent, reaching 1.4 billion euros compared with 1.3 billion euros in the previous year. Excluding the effect of foreign currency, growth levels would have been even higher. By the end of the year, operating profit stood at 151 million euros (158).
Markets in the region displayed considerable appetite for growth; India in particular continued to be the largest Property and Casualty market for Allianz in Asia, its strength mainly driven by the weather-based crop insurance portfolio and a strong underwriting discipline. The company received recognition from relevant authorities for its exceptional claim handling abilities during a period that saw the Northern and Eastern regions hit by devastating floods and cyclones. The company was also recognized and honored as the general insurance company of the year in many local as well as international forums.
Allianz in Malaysia maintained its leading position in the market for its traditional Property and Casualty business despite a sluggish economic environment. The company was another major contributor to Allianz’s property and casualty insurance portfolio in the Asia-Pacific region. The insurance company continued to be actively associated with a highly visible road safety campaign among Malaysian citizens, and launched an array of innovative tailor-made products for specific customer target groups.
Very strong Life and Health business results
Asia Pacific’s gross written premiums and operating profits demonstrated the strong foundation formed by the Life and Health businesses in the region. Figures rose by 9 percent to 6.4 billion euros in 2014 compared with 5.9 billion euros in the previous year. Operating profit increased by 33 percent to 278 million euros in 2014 compared with 210 million euros in 2013.
In particular, it was a combination of customized products, innovation and diversified distribution capabilities that supported the excellent performance of the Allianz Life and Health entities in Asia Pacific. Allianz entities in Taiwan and Indonesia were the highest contributors with outstanding results and attaining double-digit growth in operating profit. The performance of all companies was driven primarily by strong sales through bancassurance distribution partnerships.
In addition, Indonesia displayed a steady focus on products with regular premiums as well as contract renewals whereas Taiwan launched innovative products, such as the new cancer insurance or a new dread disease endowment policy. Allianz in Malaysia delivered an impressive performance and a significant increase in statutory premiums. Product innovations and service leadership initiatives were important growth drivers.
In China, Allianz formed a joint venture health insurance company with the CPIC Group in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ). The joint venture is the first specialized health insurance company to be registered in the FTZ. It recently opened for business and launched customized individual and group health products based on the various needs of Chinese customers.
HSBC exclusive bancassurance partnership delivers high annualized new premiums
Bancassurance is a significant distribution channel for Allianz in Asia and around 44 percent of gross written premiums in life insurance are derived from bank partners. At the end of 2012 Allianz signed an exclusive long term bancassurance partnership with HSBC. The partnership currently operates in China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan and has generated remarkable business for these entities. Annualized new premiums increased by 34 percent in comparison with last year.
Outlook: Trends provide foundation for future growth
Commenting on the business, George Sartorel, CEO of Allianz Asia Pacific, said: “This year Allianz is celebrating its 125th anniversary. During this lengthy period the company has weathered many storms, established a high level of trust around the globe and built one of the strongest financial communities”. As regards future trends in Asia, Sartorel added: “Asia is a very competitive and dynamic business environment which will very shortly become the largest market in the world. Allianz is well placed to seize the strategic opportunities for growth that it offers. We will see, for example, the phenomenon of rapid urbanization which will result in the rise of megacities, or the new “millennial” customers seeking innovative solutions. Given our existing footprint, the investment being made in the region in terms of digital innovation, and new operating models, we are confident that Allianz will play an even greater role in Asia-Pacific. Our goal is to be one of the most trusted insurance partners for Asian customers, delivering innovative product solutions that are available anywhere, anytime and all the time”.