Singapore: Great Eastern's earnings soar in 2023

| 27 Feb 2024

Great Eastern saw its full-year 2023 group earnings jump 27% year-on-year (y-o-y) to S$774.6m (US$576.2 million).

This growth was driven by favourable investment performance in the Singapore life business and shareholders fund, although the profitability of the insurance business was dampened by higher medical claims.

However, total weighted new sales (TWNS) decreased by 12% y-o-y, mainly due to lower single premium sales in the Singapore market. This was offset partially by growth in regular premium sales, particularly in protection and whole-life plans. New business embedded value (NBEV) fell by 11% y-o-y, reflecting lower overall sales.

The group's core business lines remained resilient, with steady growth in new customer count. The capital adequacy ratios of the group's insurance subsidiaries remain strong and well above their respective minimum regulatory levels.  

The implementation of new accounting standards SFRS (I) 17 did not affect these ratios. 

The board of directors recommended a final one-tier tax-exempt dividend of 40 cents per ordinary share for approval at the Annual General Meeting, payable on 17 May 2024. Including the interim dividend, the total dividend for FY23 would amount to 75 cents per ordinary share. 

The company adopted a dividend payment method aiming for a steady dividend amount twice yearly, targeting a full-year payout to shareholders based on sustainable profit levels.

Despite the persistently challenging operating environment throughout 2023, Great Eastern remained steadfast in its commitment to core strategies, enhancing customer experience and innovating new products to cater to evolving wealth and protection needs across the region, as group CEO Khor Hock Seng expressed. 

He added, “Moving ahead, we will continue to look at innovative ways to enhance our service level and enrich customer experience through digitalisation and analytics. 

“We have built a strong foundation which positions us well to continue to serve our customers and deliver profitable growth and long-term sustainable value to our shareholders.”