Strong revenue increases in China, Indonesia and Thailand led robust growth in Allianz’s life business, which saw operating profit in this segment rise 3% to €166 million. Its flagship agency channel outperformed in 2016, with nearly all markets achieving double digit growth, driving agency annualized new premiums (ANP) 20% higher than the prior year.
New business value declined 7% year on year to €208 million, largely due to lower unit-linked sales. Despite the difficult market conditions, the region advanced its active portfolio management towards greater capital efficiency, with new business margins rising 0.4% to 4.8%. In December 2016, Allianz also closed the sale of its Korean life insurance operations.
In the Property and Casualty business, total premiums dipped 4% year on year to €745 million; while the combined ratio for the region rose 3.3 percentage points to 96.8% due to higher expense ratio.
Allianz Invests in its Asia Growth Engine
Allianz invested heavily into the Asia growth region throughout 2016, expanding both its distribution capabilities, as well as digital partnerships and platforms. Allianz launched its digital sales tool Allianz Discover in its core life markets, advancing towards its Digital Agency model that allows advisers to customize protection solutions and engage more meaningfully with customers. In the second half of the year, Allianz successfully secured distribution partnerships with Maybank and E-Sun in Indonesia and Taiwan, as well as a landmark regional agreement with Standard Chartered Bank across five markets, significantly expanding its distribution footprint in the region.
With the launch of its Asia Lab in mid-2016, Allianz has integrated new data-driven propositions to enhance the customer experience across the insurance value chain, from predictive underwriting to claims processing. Through its Digital Arena platform, Allianz also works directly with start-ups to build next-generation insurance innovation, including on-demand protection solutions for online players RecomN and Sejasa in Malaysia and Indonesia respectively.
In line with its fast-growing market presence in Asia, Allianz also recently announced a strategic multi-year partnership with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), extending its global football heritage and brand equity to connect more deeply with its customers, employees and stakeholders in key Asian markets.
“These solid results are the direct outcome of the successful execution of our strategy. We remain highly focused and well positioned to capture the tremendous opportunities in Asia, and are confident of further driving competitive advantages across our channels, products and platforms. This provides us with a strong foundation to drive business growth, while protecting our customers’ health, assets and families,” said George Sartorel, Regional CEO for Asia Pacific, Allianz.