Life Insurance Rebounded with Life & Health NBV Growing 36.2%

HONG KONG and SHANGHAI, March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An“, the “Company” or the “Group”, HKEX: 2318; SSE: 601318) today announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2023.

China’s economy and consumption growth still faced challenges. Amidst external market pressures, internal operational challenges, and the persistent impact of a three-year pandemic, Ping An focused on core financial businesses and strengthened the insurance protection function to serve the real economy under its business policy of “focusing on core businesses, boosting incomes and cutting costs, optimizing portfolios, and improving quality and efficiency.” Following the technology-driven “integrated finance + healthcare and elderlycare” strategy, Ping An continuously consolidated its integrated finance advantages, remained customer needs-oriented, and pursued high-quality development. 

The overall operating results for the last year remained solid, demonstrating resilience. The Group’s operating profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company reached RMB117,989 million, and net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company reached RMB85,665 million in 2023. Basic operating earnings per share reached RMB6.66. Three core businesses, namely Life & Health, property and casualty insurance, and banking, maintained steady performance. The three businesses delivered RMB140,913 million in operating profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company. Full year cash dividend is RMB2.43 per share, up 0.4% year on year, with total cash dividend increasing for 12 consecutive years. Life insurance returned to growth. Life & Health NBV grew 36.2% like for like driven by a 40.3% rise in agent channel NBV. Ping An continued to advance the “Integrated Finance + Healthcare and Elderlycare” synergistic strategy. The Group’s retail customers increased to 232 million as of December 31, 2023; 25.3% of them held four or more contracts within the Group, with a retention rate of 97.7%; nearly 64% used services from the healthcare and elderlycare ecosystem as of December 31, 2023. Customers entitled to service benefits in the healthcare and elderlycare ecosystem accounted for over 73% of Ping An Life’s NBV in 2023.

Ten business highlights in 2023:

  1. Ping An achieved steady development of core businesses. The Group’s operating profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company reached RMB117,989 million in 2023. Three core businesses, namely Life & Health, property and casualty insurance, and banking, remained steady, generating RMB140,913 million in operating profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company.
  2. Cash dividend has increased for 12 consecutive years. Attaching importance to shareholder returns, Ping An plans to pay a final dividend of RMB1.50 per share in cash for 2023. Full year cash dividend is RMB2.43 per share, up 0.4% year on year. Cash dividend payout ratio based on operating profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company is 37.3%, with total dividend increasing for 12 consecutive years.
  3. Life & Health achieved steady business development, enhanced comprehensive strength in channels, and delivered significant results in high-quality development. Life & Health NBV grew 36.2% like for like driven by a 40.3% rise in agent channel NBV due to an 89.5% increase in NBV per agent and continued strong momentum in the newly reformed bancassurance channel where NBV climbed 77.7% in 2023. Based on the latest assumptions including the return on investment and the risk discount rate, NBV of L&H amounted to RMB31,080 million. The 13-month persistency ratio rose 2.5 pps year on year.
  4. Ping An P&C maintained good business quality with steady revenue growth. Ping An P&C’s insurance revenue rose 6.5% year on year to RMB313,458 million in 2023. Overall combined ratio excluding guarantee insurance was 98.4%. Auto insurance combined ratio was 97.7%, better than the market average, or 96.6% excluding the impacts of natural disasters.
  5. Ping An delivered excellent results in insurance funds investment. Despite a complex and volatile market environment, Ping An’s insurance funds investment portfolio achieved a comprehensive investment yield of 3.6% in 2023, up by 0.9 pps year on year. The portfolio achieved a 5.2% average net investment yield and a 5.4% average comprehensive investment yield over the past decade, higher than the EV long-run investment return assumption.
  6. Ping An Bank maintained steady business performance and adequate risk provisions. Net profit increased 2.1% year on year to RMB46,455 million in 2023. Non-performing loan ratio was 1.06% and provision coverage ratio was 277.63% as of December 31, 2023.
  7. Ping An continued to develop its integrated finance model. Retail customers increased to 232 million as of December 31, 2023; 25.3% of them held four or more contracts within the Group, with a retention rate of 97.7%.
  8. Ping An continued to implement its healthcare and elderlycare ecosystem strategy, empowering its core businesses with differential advantages. By integrating providers, Ping An partnered with all top 100 hospitals and 3A hospitals, and accumulated about 50,000 in-house and contracted external doctors in China as of December 31, 2023. Ping An partnered with approximately 230,000 pharmacies as of December 31, 2023, up by nearly 6,000 from the beginning of 2023. Customers entitled to service benefits in the healthcare and elderlycare ecosystem accounted for over 73% of Ping An Life’s NBV in 2023.
  9. Ping An actively fulfilled its social responsibilities and supported the real economy. Ping An cumulatively invested over RMB8.77 trillion as of December 31, 2023 to bolster the real economy. Green investment of insurance funds and green loan balance totaled RMB128,568 million and RMB146,345 million respectively as of December 31, 2023. Green insurance premium income amounted to RMB37,296 million in 2023. Ping An has provided RMB117,882 million for poverty alleviation and industrial vitalization since the launch of “Ping An Rural Communities Support.” Ping An maintained “A” in MSCI ESG Ratings in 2023, remaining No.1 in the multi-line insurance and brokerage industry in the Asia-Pacific region.
  10. Ping An further increased its brand value. In 2023, Ping An ranked 33rd in the Fortune Global 500 list (1st among global insurers again and 5th among global financial services companies), 9th in the Fortune China 500 list, 16th in the Forbes Global 2000 list, and 1st in the Brand Finance Insurance 100 list in relation to global insurance brand value for the 7th consecutive year.

Life & Health delivered significant results in high-quality development with NBV growing 36.2% like for like.

Ping An Life continued to enhance its channels and improve business quality under the “4 channels + 3 products” strategy in 2023[1]. Life & Health NBV grew 36.2% like for like in 2023. Based on the latest assumptions including the return on investment and the risk discount rate, NBV of L&H amounted to RMB31,080 million. Ping An Life recorded a material improvement in its persistency ratios with the 13-month persistency ratio rising 2.5 pps year on year and 25-month persistency ratio rising 6.8 pps year on year in 2023.

The development of four channels showed significant results. In respect of the agent channel, Ping An Life advances the high-quality transformation of the agent channel and improves the team structure. On a like-for-like basis, agent channel NBV grew 40.3%, and income per agent increased 39.2% in 2023. Proportion of “Talent +” new agents increased by 25.2 pps year on year in 2023. In respect of the bancassurance channel, Ping An Life furthered the exclusive agency model with Ping An Bank. On a like-for-like basis, bancassurance channel NBV grew 77.7% in 2023, indicating high-quality, leapfrog growth with a significant increase in the channel’s contribution. In respect of the Community Grid channel, Ping An Life has set up 65 Community Grid outlets in 51 cities. Ping An Life’s 13-month policy persistency ratio of “retained customers” in the cities with Community Grid outlets improved by 5.4 pps year on year. In respect of the lower-tier channel, Ping An Life continuously promoted sales in seven provinces in 2023.

Ping An Life further diversified wealth management and insurance products, developed the pension insurance market, and consolidated insurance protection business. By leveraging the Group’s healthcare and elderlycare ecosystem, Ping An Life steadily advanced its three core services, namely the healthcare, home-based elderlycare, and high-end elderlycare. In respect of “insurance + healthcare”, Ping An Life provided health management services to over 20 million customers in 2023, and about 76% of Ping An Life‘ s newly-enrolled customers used health management services in 2023. In respect of “insurance + home-based elderlycare”, Ping An’s home-based elderlycare services covered 54 cities across China as of December 31, 2023. Over 80,000 customers have qualified for the home-based elderlycare services, giving positive general feedback. In respect of “insurance + high-end elderlycare,” Ping An has unveiled high-end elderlycare projects in four cities as of December 31, 2023, including a “Ping An Zhen Yi Nian” experience center opened in Sanya, Hainan Province in July 2023.

Ping An maintained steady growth in P&C and banking businesses, delivered excellent results in insurance funds investment, and continuously advanced its integrated finance strategy.

Ping An P&C maintained good business quality with steady revenue growth. Ping An P&C’s insurance revenue rose 6.5% year on year to RMB313,458 million in 2023. Overall combined ratio excluding guarantee insurance was 98.4%. Auto insurance combined ratio was 97.7%, better than the market average, or 96.6% excluding the impacts of natural disasters. Ping An P&C has been honored as “No.1 Brand” in China’s auto insurance and property and casualty insurance markets by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for 13 consecutive years. Ping An P&C’s “Ping An Auto Owner” app ranks as the largest automotive service app in China having accumulated over 200 million registered users as of December 31, 2023, with over 136 million vehicles linked to it. With leading online claims services, Ping An P&C scored 94.52 in the Auto Insurance Service Quality Index evaluation by China Banking and Insurance Information Technology Management Co., Ltd., ranking among top players in the property and casualty insurance industry.

Ping An Bank maintained steady business performance and stable asset quality. Net profit grew by 2.1% year on year to RMB46,455 million in 2023. Non-performing loan ratio was 1.06% and provision coverage ratio was 277.63% as of December 31, 2023, indicating adequate risk provisions. Retail assets under management (“AUM”) rose 12.4% from the beginning of 2023 to RMB4,031,177 million, and retail deposit balance grew by 16.7% from the beginning of 2023 to RMB1,207,618 million as of December 31,2023. Retail business realized high-quality sustainable development.

Ping An delivered excellent results in insurance funds investment. The Company’s insurance funds investment portfolio grew 9.0% from the beginning of 2023 to over RMB4.72 trillion as of December 31, 2023. The portfolio achieved a comprehensive investment yield of 3.6% in 2023, up by 0.9 pps year on year. The portfolio achieved a 5.2% average net investment yield and a 5.4% average comprehensive investment yield over the past decade, higher than the EV long-run investment return assumption.

Ping An’s integrated finance strategy is focused on deepening engagement with retail customers and developing customer groups under a customer-centric business philosophy. Integrated finance brings higher operational efficiency to Ping An, reflected especially by lower customer acquisition cost, lower management and service costs, and higher customer retention rates. The Group’s retail customers increased 2.2% from the beginning of 2023 to 232 million as of December 31, 2023; 25.3% of them held four or more contracts within the Group, with a retention rate of 97.7%. Contracts per retail customer reached 2.95. Over 88.01 million retail customers held multiple contracts with different subsidiaries.

Further developing the healthcare and elderlycare ecosystem as a new driver of value growth. 

Ping An has launched an innovative Chinese “managed care model” by leveraging its more than ten years of operational and management experience in insurance and healthcare industries. The model covers multiple business lines, including finance, healthcare, and technology. Ping An builds its service moat by empowering retail financial customers and corporate clients as well as developing an online flagship medical platform. Ping An seamlessly combines differentiated healthcare and elderlycare services with financial businesses in which Ping An acts as a payer. By acting as a payer and integrating providers, Ping An offers the most cost-effective healthcare and elderlycare services under unique business models.

Over the past decade, Ping An has been building a healthcare and elderlycare ecosystem in China with increasingly significant differential advantages including online, in-store and home-delivery service capabilities, wide coverage of hundreds of healthcare and elderlycare service resources, and access to high-quality proprietary resources. This is very important for quality assurance purposes. Ping An had about 50,000 in-house and contracted external doctors as of December 31, 2023. Moreover, Ping An partnered with over 36,000 hospitals (including all top 100 hospitals and 3A hospitals in China), over 100,000 healthcare management institutions and approximately 230,000 pharmacies as of December 31, 2023.

Ping An’s healthcare and elderlycare ecosystem is creating both standalone direct value and significant indirect value by empowering core financial businesses through differentiated “Product + Service” offerings. Nearly 64% of Ping An’s 232 million retail customers used services from the healthcare and elderlycare ecosystem as of December 31, 2023. They held approximately 3.37 contracts and RMB55,900 in AUM per capita, 1.6 times and 3.5 times those held by non-users of these services respectively. Customers entitled to service benefits in the healthcare and elderlycare ecosystem accounted for over 73% of Ping An Life’s NBV in 2023. In 2023, Ping An achieved over RMB140 billion in health insurance premium income; Ping An’s healthcare ecosystem had over 56,000 paying corporate clients; Ping An Health (formerly known as Ping An Good Doctor) had nearly 40 million paying users over the past 12 months.

Technological innovations empowered core businesses and enhanced efficiency and quality. Ping An had a first-class technology team of over 20,000 technology developers and over 3,000 scientists as of December 31, 2023. With 51,533 patent applications in total, the Group ranked first globally by the number of patent applications in both fintech and healthcare. Renewal premiums collected via self-service under smart guidance increased by 13% year on year to RMB300.3 billion in 2023. The volume of services provided by AI service representatives reached about 2.22 billion times. Claims loss reduction via smart risk identification increased by 16.0% year on year to RMB10.82 billion in 2023. Ping An engages in technology business through member companies including Lufax Holding, OneConnect, Ping An Health and Autohome, providing diverse products and services for ecosystem users, with significant synergies.

Ping An actively fulfilled its social responsibilities and furthered green finance initiatives. The Group cumulatively invested over RMB8.77 trillion as of December 31, 2023 to bolster the real economy. The investments cover China’s major projects including energy, transportation, and water conservancy. Ping An P&C provided over 1,500 key engineering projects across the country with over RMB3.9 trillion worth of insurance coverage, and supported national strategic initiatives including the Belt and Road Initiative and the development of the Guangdong Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Green investment of insurance funds and green loan balance totaled RMB128,568 million and RMB146,345 million respectively as of December 31, 2023. Green insurance premium income amounted to RMB37,296 million in 2023. Ping An has provided RMB117,882 million for poverty alleviation and industrial vitalization since the launch of “Ping An Rural Communities Support.”

To develop into a financial powerhouse, China has a long, long way to go. In 2024, Ping An will comprehensively implement the spirit of China’s Central Financial Work Conference and adhere to the business policy of “focusing on core businesses, boosting incomes and cutting costs, optimizing portfolios, and improving quality and efficiency” under a people-centered and customer needs-oriented approach. Ping An will continuously strengthen risk management, improve operations, and enhance financial service capabilities and coverages. Ping An will advance its technology-driven “integrated finance + healthcare and elderlycare” strategy and pursue high-quality development. Moreover, Ping An will comprehensively develop TechFin, green finance, inclusive finance, pension finance, and digital finance. By doing so, Ping An will create robust and sustainable long-term value for customers, employees, shareholders and society, contributing to China’s development into a financial powerhouse.

[1] 4 channels include agent channel, bancassurance channel, Community Grid channel, and lower-tier channel, and 3 products include insurance + healthcare, insurance + home-based elderlycare, and insurance + high-end elderlycare.

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Source: Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd.