HONG KONG and SHANGHAI, April 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter "Ping An," the "Group" or the "Company," HKEX:2318; SSE:601318) announced today its first quarter financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2020.
Amid the COVID-19-induced unfavorable conditions, including difficulties in offline operations, rising credit risk, volatile equity markets and falling interest rates, the Company adopted measures including a transformation toward online operations to mitigate impacts of the epidemic. Meanwhile, investment income fell sharply due to greater volatility of fair value gains and losses driven by nosediving capital markets both at home and abroad and the Company's implementation of the new accounting standards for financial instruments. In the first three months of 2020, net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company dropped 42.7% year on year to RMB26,063 million. However, operating profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company still rose 5.3% year on year to RMB35,914 million. Ping An achieved continuous growth in its retail customer base. As of 31 March 2020, the Group's total retail customers grew to 204 million. In the first quarter of 2020, the Group acquired 8.71 million new retail customers, 34.7% of whom were sourced from internet users within its five ecosystems. The Group's internet users increased by 3.7% from the beginning of 2020 to 534 million. The scale of Ping An's corporate business continued to grow steadily. Corporate premiums achieved through cross-selling reached RMB3,537 million, in which the written premium of the corporate channel rose by 173.2% year on year. The new financing scale increased by 92.2% year on year to RMB95,748 million.
Faced with these unexpected and sudden challenges from COVID-19, Ping An capitalized on its leading technologies to rapidly deploy various online initiatives, including remote office, to mitigate the impacts and maintain operations in an orderly manner. The initiatives enabled the Group to offer services without compromising anti-epidemic efforts. In addition, the Group closely tracked the development and trend of the epidemic, and fulfilled its mission as an insurer by supporting epidemic prevention and control with insurance services, cutting-edge technologies, and health expertise.
Financial businesses: Ping An Life developed innovative online operating models, Ping An Property & Casualty continued to grow, and Ping An Bank maintained balanced development
In the first three months of 2020, operating profit after tax of the life and health insurance business rose 23.0% year on year to RMB24,556 million. Ping An's traditional offline operations and high-value protection business were affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Meanwhile, Ping An promoted the sales of simple, marketable online products with lower NBV margins to prepare for post-epidemic customer conversion. As a result, NBV of the life and health insurance business declined by 24.0% year on year to RMB16,453 million in the first three months of 2020. In response to changes in the market, industry and technology, the Company turned challenges into opportunities by leveraging technologies to enable online operations and agile responses while maintaining operational stability. The Company took innovative measures in team management, customer development, and product promotion to ensure normal business operations and accumulate new momentum for post-epidemic growth. The Company achieved efficient recruitment, training and customer acquisition by upgrading the online team management platform. In addition, Ping An Life supported the transformation toward online operations with the "product+" and "technology+" strategies.
Ping An Property & Casualty maintained stable business growth and excellent business quality. In the first three months of 2020, Ping An Property & Casualty recorded premium income of RMB72,589 million, up 4.9% year on year. Ping An Property & Casualty's combined ratio was 96.5%, down 0.5 pps and still better than the industry's. Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, Ping An Property & Casualty integrated online services and launched "One-click Claims Services," thus enabling non-physical-contact claim settlement anytime and anywhere. As of March 31, 2020, registered users of the "Ping An Auto Owner" app exceeded 100 million for the first time, up 11.6% from the beginning of the year. In March 2020, the app had over 25 million monthly active users.
As of March 31, 2020, the Company's investment portfolio of insurance funds grew by 5.3% from the beginning of 2020 to RMB3.38 trillion. In the first three months of 2020, the investment portfolio of insurance funds achieved an annualized net investment yield of 3.6% and an annualized total investment yield of 3.4%.
Ping An Bank maintained balanced development and strengthened provisions. Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, Ping An Bank quickly resumed business through online digital operations. In the first three months of 2020, revenue increased by 16.8% year on year to RMB37,926 million. Net profit rose 14.8% year on year to RMB8,548 million. The cost-to-income ratio declined by 1.68 pps year on year to 27.94%. As of March 31, 2020, the provision coverage ratio rose 17.23 pps from the beginning of 2020 to 200.35%.
Further development of technology strategy as various businesses grew rapidly
In the first three months of 2020, Ping An furthered its technology strategies and developed various businesses rapidly. The total revenue of the technology business increased by 6.0% year on year to RMB19,844 million. As of March 31, 2020, Ping An's technology patent applications increased by 2,550 from the beginning of 2020 to 23,933, more than most other international financial institutions'. Of these applications, 5,567 were filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) or abroad.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, Ping An Good Doctor leveraged its leading technologies and efficient online health care services to fulfill its corporate social responsibilities by preventing and containing the epidemic. As of March 31, 2020, Ping An Good Doctor closely cooperated with over 50 provincial and municipal governments to provide local residents with real-time online consultation services and free consultation hotlines. In addition, Ping An Good Doctor worked with over 30 leading enterprises and internet platforms to provide 24/7 online consultation services. Ping An Good Doctor invited renowned doctors and experts to give live interpretation of anti-epidemic knowledge. Amid the peak of the epidemic, Ping An Good Doctor provided 24/7 online consultation services, and attracted more than 1,000 million visits to its online platform.
Meanwhile, Ping An HealthKonnect worked with Ping An Healthcare Diagnostics Center to combat the epidemic by pooling resources from various parties. As of March 31, 2020, Ping An Healthcare Diagnostics Center donated nearly RMB3 million worth of 92,000 pieces of medical supplies across the border in cooperation with its Japanese partners. Ping An Healthcare Diagnostics Center dispatched to Wuhan a vehicle equipped with a mobile CT scanner, which screened 5,304 people. Moreover, Ping An Healthcare Diagnostics Center performed nucleic acid tests on a total of 33,113 samples for COVID-19. Ping An HealthKonnect assisted the National Health Commission Capacity Building and Continuing Education Center in providing training on epidemic prevention and control, and helped municipal social health insurance bureaus to provide services through mobile devices.
Lufax Holding maintained steady growth in revenue. As of March 31, 2020, Lufax Holding's customer assets increased by 2.3% from the beginning of 2020 to RMB354,848 million. The balance of loans under management stood at RMB506,275 million, up 9.5% from the beginning of 2020. During the COVID-19 epidemic, Lufax Holding made full use of AI to alleviate the manpower shortage and closely monitor the loan portfolio's quality. Lufax Holding also tided over customers by helping eligible borrowers defer principal and interest repayments in accordance with state policies.
OneConnect optimized its business portfolio and vigorously developed third-party customers. The transaction volume facilitated by OneConnect increased in the first three months of 2020. Moreover, the epidemic has driven up the financial sector's demand for cloud-based solutions and online products, bringing long-term growth opportunities for the industry.
Ping An's smart city business covering government affairs, daily life, transportation, health care and education has gone live in more than 115 cities across China and some countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, Ping An's smart city business helped local governments to prevent and contain the epidemic as well as resume work and production with AI and other cutting-edge technologies. In daily life services, Ping An's smart city business helped the Shenzhen Municipal Government launch a series of "Shen i Nin" anti-epidemic services in the "i Shenzhen" app, supporting Shenzhen's anti-epidemic battle and resumption of work and production. In health care services, the smart city business launched the "Nationwide COVID-19 Real Time Dashboard" with authoritative organizations of the state. The dashboard went live on more than 300 official platforms in 21 provinces and 31 cities across China, keeping the public updated on the latest development of the epidemic. Ping An's smart city business also provided AI-based image reading services for 1,500 medical facilities across China to identify COVID-19. It took only 15 seconds to issue a single smart analysis, and over 20,000 suspected infection cases were identified.
Affected by the epidemic, in the short term, the offline business development of the insurance business will be hindered, investment income will decline significantly, credit risks will increase, and the demand for financing will decrease, said Ping An. However, in the medium and long term, business opportunities and challenges will coexist. The demand for insurance and financial services will rebound. Moreover, epidemic prevention and containment highlights the significance of technological empowerment, spurring technological application and spawning development opportunities for health services. Faced with growing instability of the global economy and financial markets, Ping An will turn crises into opportunities. Closely following national policies, Ping An will play an important role in combating COVID-19 and safeguarding people's livelihoods with insurance services and health expertise. The year 2020 is critical for the Company to implement its "finance + technology" and "finance + ecosystem" transformation strategies. Ping An will accelerate technological transformations of the traditional financial businesses, seize the development opportunities for healthtech, consolidate its advantages in the technology business, and create value for shareholders, customers, and society.
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About Ping An Group
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. ("Ping An") is a world-leading technology-powered retail financial services group. With over 204 million retail customers and 534 million Internet users, Ping An is one of the largest financial services companies in the world.
Ping An has two over-arching strategies, "pan financial assets" and "pan health care", which focus on the provision of financial and healthcare services through our integrated financial services platform and our five ecosystems of financial services, health care, auto services, real estate services and smart city services. Our "finance + technology" and "finance + ecosystems" strategies aim to provide customers and internet users with innovative and simple products and services using technology. As China's first joint stock insurance company, Ping An Group is committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate reporting and corporate governance. The Company is listed on the stock exchanges in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
In 2019, Ping An ranked 7th in the Forbes Global 2000 list and 29th on the Fortune Global 500 list. Ping An also ranked 40th in the 2019 WPP Millward Brown BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list. For more information, please visit www.pingan.cn.
SOURCE Ping An Insurance Group Ltd.