For Immediate Release
August 8, 2019
TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC SEHK: 945
Hong Kong – The Manulife group of companies operating in Hong Kong (“Manulife Hong Kong”) today reported strong results for the second quarter and first half of 2019.
“We are pleased to report another strong half year,” said Guy Mills, Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Hong Kong. “We have seen especially fast growth in the second quarter, and a large part of it came from strong sales of our tax-deductible solutions. Manulife is one of only a few insurers that provide customers with one-stop access to all of the tax-deductible solutions, enabling people to leverage the government's tax incentives to enjoy greater health protection and save more for retirement. Our professional agency and comprehensive product capabilities have positioned us well to offer these attractive solutions to the public, as our strong sales record has shown.”
In the second quarter of 2019, Manulife launched a full suite of tax-deductible solutions tailored to enhance the health, wellbeing and retirement preparedness of Hong Kong people. These include the Manulife Shelter VHIS Standard Plan and the Manulife First VHIS Flexi Plan, both certified under the government's Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS), as well as the MPF Tax Deductible Voluntary Contributions (TVC) account and a Qualifying Deferred Annuity Policy (QDAP) called ManuWise Deferred Annuity.
Second quarter core earnings rose to a new record high of HK$1.4 billion, up 27% from HK$1.1 billion in the same quarter of 2018, driven by in-force business growth. First half core earnings increased 21% to HK$2.7 billion from HK$2.2 billion in the same period of 2018.
Second quarter APE sales reached a new record high of HK$1.6 billion, up 40% from HK$1.1 billion in the same quarter last year. This reflects strong growth across distribution channels driven by the launch of VHIS plans and QDAP. First half APE sales were HK$2.9 billion, up 25% from HK$2.3 billion in the same period of 2018.
Second quarter NBV surged 31% to HK$0.9 billion from HK$0.7 billion in the same quarter last year, resulting from higher sales volume of VHIS plans and enhanced savings product suites partially offset by a decline in market interest rates. First half NBV increased by 19% to HK$1.7 billion from HK$1.4 billion in the same period of 2018.
Quarterly WAM gross flows were HK$8.6 billion, up 10% from HK$7.9 billion in the same quarter of 2018, resulting from strong growth in mutual fund sales and a modest increase in pension fund sales. First half WAM gross flows were HK$16.0 billion, down 2% from HK$16.3 billion in the same period of 2018, reflecting the market volatility through the first quarter of the year.
Manulife has made further strides in enhancing the customer experience with digital solutions. In tandem with the launch of tax-deductible solutions, the Company launched its first direct online sales platform, buysimple.hk, where people can buy the VHIS Standard Plan or apply for the MPF TVC account. On this site, visitors can access a purpose-built tax savings calculator that helps provide fast estimates on applicable tax breaks.
Manulife’s popular eClaims services platform – claimsimple.hk – now processes about half of eligible claims. This platform has been upgraded to provide greater convenience to customers. New features have been added, enabling customers to quickly find the right doctor and enjoy a cashless claims experience with a digital Medical Card at clinics.
In the reporting quarter, Manulife Hong Kong won a series of awards for its best-in-class products and services. The Company received four awards at the Bloomberg Businessweek Financial Institution Awards 2019 in recognition of its product innovation and its critical illness, annuity and retirement plans; and another three at the Metro Finance Greater Bay Area Insurance Awards for its VHIS, annuity and investment-linked products. Manulife was also named "Insurance Company of the Year – MPF Provider, Hong Kong" at The Asset Triple A Asset Servicing, Institutional Investor and Insurance Awards 2019, making it the fourth year Manulife has won this prestigious award.
About Manulife Hong Kong
Manulife Hong Kong, through Manulife International Holdings Limited, owns Manulife (International) Limited, Manulife Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited and Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company Limited. As a member of the Manulife group of companies, Manulife Hong Kong offers a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individual and corporate customers in Hong Kong and Macau.
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2018, we had more than 34,000 employees, over 82,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving almost 28 million customers. As of March 31, 2019, we had over C$1.1 trillion (HK$6.5 trillion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made C$29.4 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States are where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.