Zurich sees Asia Pacific revival in Q2 life sales

Added 10th August 2017

Zurich Insurance Group reported a double-digit pick-up in growth of its life business across the Asia Pacific region during the second quarter, which helped to offset falling sales in parts of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Zurich sees Asia Pacific revival in Q2 life sales

Gross written premiums in Asia Pacific jumped 12% from $207m (€176m, £159m) in Q1 to $232m in Q2, albeit significantly down on the equivalent period in 2016.

In the much more sizeable EMEA market, gross written premiums in Q2 dropped 31% to $1.79bn, from $2.50bn in Q1.

Latin America saw a 4.3% jump in premiums, quarter on quarter, from $640m to $668m.

Overall, the global life operation saw gross written premiums drop by $481m (3%) to $14.4bn in the first half of 2017, compared to the six months in the previous year.

Growth in Japan

In its half year statement, Zurich said the life growth in Asia Pacific was helped by the successful integration of the Macquarie Life retail insurance protection business in Australia and continued growth in Japan.

Latin America's strong growth came from increased business operating profit from Zurich Santander and Zurich branded businesses, it said.

In EMEA, Zurich cited lower costs combined with growth in the UK, Ireland, Spain and Italy partly compensated for lower business operating profit across the rest of the region.

It also highlighted the exclusive distribution agreement signed in May with Standard Chartered to provide life insurance solutions to its customers in the United Arab Emirates.

“This further underpins Zurich’s position as a leader in bancassurance, while contributing to volumes and margin growth in the Life business”, it said.

Margin expansion

The group’s global life business saw business operating profit rise 16% to $650m in the first half compared to the previous year, helped by “margin expansion and a positive contribution from the growing bank distribution channel”.

Group chief executive Mario Greco said the overall results “show what dedicated people can accomplish in a relatively short time, as we were able to grow our businesses in local currencies, improve our underwriting and expand our customer reach, all while reducing our cost base. Based on that performance, we are confident that we will maintain this positive momentum”.

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Mark Battersby

Editor, International Adviser

International Adviser

Mark Battersby is editor of International Adviser. He is also programme director for International Adviser events in strategic expat locations around the world, and its flagship FundLinks conference in London. Mark joined Last Word Media in February 2012, having previously worked at Citywire, Interactive Investor International, and FT Business.

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