• New business value (NBV) margin improved with product mix shifting towards health protection
• Higher number of medical policies sold compared with the first quarter of 2021
• Agent numbers increased 7% year-on-year with record digital adoption achieved
• Core earnings growth showed strong resilience despite the pandemic’s impact on annualized premium equivalent (APE) sales
May 17, 2022
TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC SEHK: 945
Hong Kong – The Manulife group of companies operating in Hong Kong and Macau (“Manulife Hong Kong”) today announced first quarter of 2022 results, further reinforcing the strength and resilience of its franchise. The Company posted its 19th consecutive quarter of core earnings growth with improved overall margins, driven by higher year-on-year health sales. Manulife’s agency force in Hong Kong and Macau grew and achieved record levels of digital platform adoption.
“Manulife Hong Kong has once again demonstrated its resilience, despite the fifth wave of COVID-19 which impacted the Hong Kong economy, the insurance industry and hence our APE sales. We succeeded in expanding our agency force whilst growing core earnings and investing strongly in our operations and people. Notwithstanding the challenges created by COVID, our core earnings, NBV and APE sales all exceeded pre-pandemic levels in 2019,” said Damien Green, Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Hong Kong and Macau.
First quarter results overview:
Core earnings increased by 1% to HK$1.71 billion from HK$1.69 billion in the same quarter of 2021. The increase reflected in-force business growth, favourable new business product mix, and experience gains offset by lower new business volumes amid the impact of COVID-19 containment measures in Hong Kong.
APE sales were HK$1.31 billion, down 23% from HK$1.70 billion in the first quarter of 2021. The decrease in sales was driven by tighter containment measures following an outbreak of COVID-19 during the quarter, and limitations on travel between Hong Kong and mainland China that continued to impact cross-border economic activities.
NBV was HK$0.91 billion in the first quarter of 2022, a decrease of 20% from HK$1.12 billion in the prior year quarter due to lower sales volumes, partially offset by favorable new business product mix and higher sales of medical plans. NBV margin was 69.1% in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 3.0 percentage points compared with the prior year quarter.
“It’s encouraging to see people become more health conscious during the prolonged pandemic. We have seen a strong demand in health protection products in the first quarter, as evidenced by a 16% year-on-year growth in the number of medical policies sold. The number of new Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) plans sold before the end of tax season in March also recorded a 30% increase year-on-year,” added Mr. Green.
At the start of the fifth pandemic wave, Manulife Hong Kong launched a series of extra and free of charge coverage for customers in relation to vaccination side effects, COVID-19 testing and diagnosis.
In the first quarter, Manulife Hong Kong obtained approval from the Insurance Authority’s Insurtech Sandbox to extend its virtual face-to-face selling platform to all insurance products, thus enabling agents to complete their sales process with customers while minimizing the risk of infection. The company’s enhanced electronic point-of-sales tool (“ePOS”), which provides a smoother and personalized customer experience, achieved an adoption rate of 80% at the end of the first quarter.
The company recently launched the Manulife Health Resilience Program for the Elderly with Christian Family Service Centre to provide 1,000 online medical consultations for needy seniors in the Kwun Tong and Wong Tai Sin districts, with end-to-end support to help them rebuild their health from home. The Program includes online consultations with Chinese and Western medical practitioners and delivery of medicine.
“As a leading insurer in Hong Kong for the past 125 years, we see ourselves as having a role to contribute to the community's recovery from the pandemic. We strived to protect our customers with special COVID-19 coverage and to help our distributors stay active through digital initiatives. We have extended our care for the community through efforts such as donating rapid test kits at the start of the latest outbreak and launching a scalable health and well-being program to help the elderly become more health resilient. We are committed to making a positive impact in the community as Hong Kong continues its recovery,” said Mr. Green.
About Manulife Hong Kong
Manulife Hong Kong, through Manulife International Holdings Limited, owns Manulife (International) Limited, Manulife Investment 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 provider that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we provide financial advice and insurance, operating as Manulife across Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Through Manulife Investment Management, the global brand for our global wealth and asset management segment, we serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. At the end of 2021, we had more than 38,000 employees, over 119,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 33 million customers. Our principal operations are in Asia and Canada, and the United States, where we have served customers for more than 160 years. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong. In the previous 12 months we made CAD$32.7 billion in payments to our customers.
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i. Manulife Hong Kong includes all our Hong Kong businesses including insurance, insurance-based wealth accumulation products, and our wealth and asset management businesses.
ii. All percentage changes are stated on a year-over-year basis, except for MPF market share.
iii. Core earnings for Manulife Hong Kong include insurance and insurance-based wealth accumulation products, and exclude our wealth and asset management businesses. Core earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure. For full definition of core earnings, see “Non-GAAP and other financial measures” in Manulife Financial Corporation’s 1Q22 Management’s Discussion and Analysis.
iv. Annualized premium equivalent (“APE”) sales are presented to provide consistency of scope for NBV disclosures and industry practice. APE sales consist of insurance and insurance-based wealth accumulation products, and exclude our wealth and asset management businesses. They comprise 100% of regular premiums/deposits sales and 10% of single premiums/deposits sales.
v. New business value (“NBV”) is the change in embedded value as a result of sales in the reporting period. NBV is calculated as the present value of shareholders’ interests in expected future distributable earnings, after the cost of capital under the local capital requirements in Hong Kong, on actual new business sold in the period using assumptions that are consistent with the assumptions used in the calculation of embedded value. NBV excludes businesses with immaterial insurance risks, such as Hong Kong’s wealth and asset management businesses. NBV is a useful metric to evaluate the value created by Manulife Hong Kong’s new business franchise.
vi. New business value margin (“NBV margin”) is calculated as NBV divided by APE sales excluding non-controlling interests. NBV margin is a useful metric to help understand the profitability of our new business.
vii. MPF market share is measured by share of assets under management and estimated net cash flows by scheme sponsor. Source: Mercer MPF Market Shares Report as at March 31, 2022.