Saturday July 7, 2012
Allianz upbeat on premium growth this year
By DALJIT DHESI
KUALA LUMPUR: Allianz Malaysia Bhd (AMB) is confident of sustaining a double-digit growth in gross written premiums (GWP) and overall earnings this year despite the gloomy global economic outlook.
Chief executive officer Jens Reisch said the group started well this year and expect to sustain its growth momentum throughout the year. He said the life insurance business was growing by a double-digit growth in gross written premiums and AMB's aspiration was to outperform the market and its peers in this segment.
The target growth was achievable as the life insurance penetration rate in the country was relatively low at 41% and would be assisted by AMB's product innovation initiatives, Reisch said at the launching of the Allianz Academy yesterday.
The company recently said it was aiming for a 15% growth in GWP to RM3bil this year. For the first three months of this year, it saw a 13.8% jump in GWP to RM761.5mil from RM669.2mil in the previous corresponding period. Profit before tax for the period rose by 15.5% to RM76.7mil from RM66.4mil previously.
For its life insurance, GWP increased by 12.7% to RM305.1mil while that for the general insurance rose by 14.5% to RM456.4mil for the period under review. Allianz General Insurance Company (M) Bhd (AGIC) CEO Zakri Khir said he was optimistic of a double-digit growth in GWP for the general insurance segment partly due to its strong distribution channels.
Its biggest distribution channel (for general insurance) was agency, which accounted for about 50% of its total business, followed by corporate segment (20%), motor dealers (15%) and bancassurance (15%).
In the general insurance segment, AGIC was the biggest player with a 10.4% market share as of the first quarter of this year, Zakri said, adding that he expected the company to retain its market share for this year.
He said staff productivity was key in the current challenging times and AMB had placed great emphasis to enhance the level of productivity of its agents. In terms of agency count, Reisch said in total, the company had about 12,000 agents and its priority was strengthening this distribution channel.
In a recent economic research report, the Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd (MARC) said the local insurance industry remained encouraging for both life and general insurance, driven by continued rise in per capita income and ongoing mega projects. It said premiums in both segments were expected to increase at respectable rates in line with economic growth.
MARC said life new business premiums expanded at a compound annual growth rate of 9.4% between 2000 and 2011, growing from merely RM2.9bil to RM7.9bil.
Meanwhile, AMB head of human resources division Wong Woon Man said Allianz Academy was part of the company's initiative to create a culture of learning and development for all its employees.
She said one of the objectives of the Academy, which was a virtual one, was to cater to learning needs of various employees through a structured development programme.
Allianz Academy programmes are based on four learning pillars technical, sales, service and leadership, Wong said, noting that each pillar aimed to equip employees with the skills and knowledge required for their current and future roles.