Core earnings in the first half of 2020 increased to HK$2.9 billion from $2.7 billion in the same period last year. Second-quarter core earnings were $1.4 billion, up five per cent from $1.4 billion from the previous year. The positive results were driven by a more favourable product sales mix and claims experience, as well as in-force business growth, the company announced.
The decrease in sales to mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong as a result of Covid-19 travel restrictions was partially offset by an increase in demand from local customers. Manulife Hong Kong recorded a notable 19-per-cent year-on-year growth in June 2020 driven by higher agency productivity, a wide product range and marketing efforts to meet customers’ needs. Excluding sales to mainland Chinese visitors, second-quarter APE sales would have grown by 14 per cent.
During the first half of 2020, Manulife Hong Kong enhanced its digital capabilities and remote purchase arrangements to help customers obtain appropriate protection, overcoming the constraints associated with social distancing. The company was the first insurer in the city to make available a virtual face-to-face sales platform for its agency force in June 2020. This online platform enables customers to purchase the entire range of Manulife’s individual insurance products other than the Investment-linked Assurance Scheme.
When the Covid-19 outbreak started earlier this year, Manulife Hong Kong was among the city’s first insurers to offer a host of tailored protection schemes and caring measures, such as additional coverage and benefits, extended premium grace periods and waiting period waivers to speed up claims. In July, as local cases of the pandemic surged, Manulife announced the extension of those measures until the end of August 2020.
Damien Green, CEO of Manulife Hong Kong and Macau, commented: “It not only shows the great diversity and underlying strength of our businesses, but also demonstrates our unwavering focus to help our customers navigate the challenges they face in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have leveraged the strength and agility of our agency force to better serve customer needs during this unprecedented period.
“In particular, we had a very strong close in the month of June with a rebound in insurance sales, reflecting the continued demand for health and retirement products. We remain committed to driving our digital capabilities and are actively looking for opportunities to drive strategic initiatives that can benefit customers in Hong Kong, Macau and the Greater Bay Area.”