Ping An Insurance Group, China's second largest insurer, has reported a sharp rise in interim earnings, with net profit increasing 47.3% over the same period in 2004.
According to the group, the growth was primarily due to improved product mix in its core life insurance and property and casualty insurance businesses.
Although Ping An recorded a 0.6% dip in revenues, net profits amounted to RMB2.3 billion, a 47.3% increase compared to RMB1.5 billion in the year-earlier period. Total assets increased 10.6% to RMB292.5 billion, with basic earnings per share totaling RMB0.36.
The group, in which HSBC holds a 19.9% equity stake, said the strong growth was primarily due to the better performance in its core life insurance and property and casualty insurance businesses. Improved product mix in both businesses, continued cost control initiatives, and better total investment returns resulted in the units accounting for approximately 89.3% of total net profit.
Despite the fact that competition has increased due to market liberalization, the group believes that future growth in the Chinese insurance industry is assured as professional standards in the industry continue to improve. Ping An’s optimistic outlook is based on the rapid growth of the Chinese economy and the increase in purchasing power of both individuals and corporations.