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Manulife Hong Kong reports record-high results for fourth quarter and full-year 2018

For Immediate Release

February 14, 2019


Hong Kong – The Manulife group of companies operating in Hong Kong (“Manulife Hong Kong”) today reported strong earnings for the fourth quarter and full-year 2018, with a number of record-high results. 

Results overview:  

  • Core earnings

- Quarterly core earnings of HK$1.3 billion, up 14% from the same quarter of 2017

- Full-year core earnings of HK$4.6 billion, up 25% from 2017 

  • Annualized premium equivalent (APE) sales

- Quarterly APE sales of HK$1.5 billion, up 8% from the same quarter of 2017

- Full-year APE sales of HK$5.1 billion, up 11% from 2017 

  • New business value (NBV) 

- Quarterly NBV of HK$1.0 billion, up 7% from the same quarter of 2017

- Full-year NBV of HK$3.3 billion, up 21% from 2017

  • Wealth and asset management gross flows 

- Quarterly wealth and asset management gross flows of HK$8.1 billion, down 3% from the same quarter of 2017

- Full-year wealth and asset management gross flows of HK$32.9 billion, up 9% from 2017

  • Mandatory Provident Funds (MPF) market share: Manulife remained the largest MPF scheme sponsor with a market share of 23.0% based on assets under management as at December 31, 2018 and 35.6% in terms of estimated net cash flows for the period from October 1 to December 31, 2018

  • Agency force: up 14% over the previous year to 8,817 agents

“We’re very proud to conclude 2018 with many new records and achievements, which clearly reflect our strong capability to deliver on our customer-first strategy. The range of offerings and initiatives we launched in 2018, such as eClaims, annuities and critical illness products, were all built upon our insights into customer desire for simplicity and customization,” said Guy Mills, Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Hong Kong. “Our agency force has also undergone remarkable growth, and we aim to expand it further to give customers the best professional support as they plan for their health, investment and retirement needs.”

Core earnings in the fourth quarter of 2018 rose to a new record of HK$1.3 billion, up 14% from HK$1.1 billion in the same quarter of 2017. This was attributable to the increase in both new and in-force business volumes. Full-year core earnings surged 25% to a new high of HK$4.6 billion from HK$3.7 billion in 2017.

Quarterly APE achieved record-high sales of HK$1.5 billion, an increase of 8% from HK$1.3 billion in the same quarter of 2017. Full-year APE sales were HK$5.1 billion, up 11% from HK$4.6 billion in 2017. Growth in both periods was driven by strong demands for new products launched in 2018 and higher sales in  agency and bancassurance channels. 

NBV in the reporting quarter was HK$1.0 billion, up 7% from HK$0.9 billion in the same quarter of 2017, due to higher sales volume and continued success of critical illness products. Full-year NBV rose by 21% to HK$3.3 billion from HK$2.7 billion in 2017. 

Quarterly wealth and asset management gross flows were HK$8.1 billion, down 3% from HK$8.3 billion in the same quarter of 2017, due to the impact of volatile markets on mutual fund sales. Full-year wealth and asset management gross flows in 2018 remained on growth track with HK$32.9 billion, up 9% from HK$30.1 billion in 2017. 

In 2018, Manulife Hong Kong delivered a number of digital initiatives to enhance customer experience. Nearly half of the eligible medical claims are now submitted through its fast and simple eClaims solution. More than 65% of its agency force has used its electronic point of sales tools to assist customers in applying for their insurance policies.   

As part of a global brand update, Manulife Hong Kong introduced a refreshed logo and visual identity in late 2018, along with a series of outdoor advertising campaigns. The new brand assets will continue to be rolled out in Hong Kong.

In the reporting quarter, Manulife Hong Kong won awards for its wide-ranging achievements in MPF leadership, insurtech, solution offerings and customer services. The Company’s MPF business brought home prestigious awards for its market leadership, fund performance, investment capabilities and quality customer services, including those from Benchmark, Bloomberg Businessweek, iMoney and Hong Kong Call Centre Association. Further, Manulife’s eClaims solution and critical illness product ManuLove Care were both honoured with the inaugural Insurance Excellence Awards organized by iMoney. 

Looking ahead to 2019, Mr. Mills said: “The forthcoming tax incentives for the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme, MPF voluntary contribution and deferred annuities will encourage Hong Kong people to review their protection and retirement needs. As a leading financial services provider with expertise in these areas, Manulife is well-positioned to help customers benefit from these tax policies while getting the coverage they need.”

About Manulife Hong Kong

Manulife Hong Kong, comprising Manulife (International) Limited, Manulife Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited and Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company Limited, offers a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individual and corporate customers in Hong Kong and Macau. These entities are members of the Manulife group of companies.  

About Manulife

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 December 31, 2018, we had over C$1.1 trillion (HK$6.2 trillion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made C$29.0 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.



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 profitability measure. For full definition of core earnings, see “Performance and Non-GAAP Measures” in Manulife’s 2018 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, 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. Wealth and asset management gross flows is a new business measure comprised of all deposits into mutual funds and pension products. Gross flows is a common industry metric for WAM businesses as it provides a measure of how successful the businesses are at attracting assets.

vii. MPF market shares are measured by scheme sponsor share of asset under management and net cash flows. Source: Table on p. 5 of Mercer MPF Market Shares Report as at December 31, 2018.