HONG KONG and SHANGHAI, April 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter "Ping An" or the "Group" or the "Company", HKEX: 2318; SSE: 601318) today announced its first quarter financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2021.
In the first three months of 2021, China achieved strong results in the prevention and containment of the COVID-19 epidemic. Amid steady headline domestic economic recovery, Ping An's traditional offline business development gradually resumed. However, demand for long-term protection business remained depressed as the underlying domestic economic recovery was not as strong, with domestic discretionary demand still recovering. Ping An adopted various forward-looking measures, including strengthening risk management, advancing reforms, and promoting digitization to lay a solid foundation for future sustainable growth. In the first three months of 2021, net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company increased by 4.5% year on year to RMB27,223 million and operating profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company grew by 8.9% year on year to RMB39,120 million. Basic operating earnings per share rose by 8.9% year on year to RMB2.21 and the annualized operating ROE was 20.0%. Ping An's retail customers increased by 1.0% year to date to over 220 million as of March 31, 2021. There were 84.57 million retail customers holding multiple contracts with different subsidiaries, an increase to 38.3% of the total. New financing scale achieved through corporate business cross-selling expanded by 84.9% year on year in the first three months of 2021.
Ping An accelerated the implementation of its healthcare ecosystem strategy. Ping An's smart healthcare business serves regulators and medical institutions with solutions for public health management, medical institution regulation, AI assistant "AskBob" medical stations, clinical decision support, medical image recognition, and chronic disease management. As of March 31, 2021, Ping An's smart healthcare business had empowered over 37,000 medical institutions and benefited about 750,000 doctors in 161 cities. Ping An cooperated closely with local Healthcare Security Administrations, and won seven new bids in the first three months of 2021 to construct provincial-level social health insurance ("SHI") platforms.
In addition, the "2021 Long-term Service Plan" and the "2021 Key Employee Share Purchase Scheme" were approved at the 2nd meeting of the 12th session of the Board held on April 22, 2021. A total of 90,960 employees have voluntarily participated in the "2021 Long-term Service Plan", the funds of which totalled RMB4.18 billion, representing the amount of remuneration payable to employees. A total of 1,754 key personnel have voluntarily participated in the "2021 Key Employee Share Purchase Scheme", the funds of which totalled RMB670.30 million, representing the amount recognized income and performance-based bonus of the scheme holders.
Providing "heartwarming" products and services to promote healthy business development: New business value ("NBV") of Ping An life and health insurance business rose 15.4% year on year. Property & Casualty's operating profit grew by 15.2% year on year. Ping An Bank maintained stable business operations and improved asset quality.
Ping An proactively promoted annuity products to satisfy consumer demands. In addition, the Company improved its protection product portfolio by developing "heartwarming" "products + services" packages for healthy business development. In the first three months of 2021, the NBV of Life & Health grew by 15.4% year on year to RMB 18,980 million. Operating profit rose steadily by 4.2% year on year to RMB25,580 million. Moreover, Ping An Life's reform has entered its comprehensive rollout and execution stage. In respect of "channel 1+4", Ping An Life advanced its digital channel reform, focusing on four key projects, namely digital business outlets, activity management, digital agent recruitment, and smart training. Ping An Life fully tapped sales channels, including sales agents, bancassurance, telemarketing and the internet, and dynamically revised the basic management procedure for sales agents. In respect of "product 1+4", Ping An Life provides one-stop customer-centric healthcare services under the "product + service" strategy. Ping An Life is committed to providing "heartwarming insurance" through four major services, namely health management, chronic disease management, critical illness management, and eldercare management.
Property & Casualty maintained excellent business quality. In the first three months of 2021, Ping An Property & Casualty's operating profit grew by 15.2% year on year to RMB5,119 million. And the overall combined ratio improved by 1.3 pps year on year to 95.2%. As auto insurance premium rates declined due to the comprehensive reform of auto insurance, the premium income of Ping An Property & Casualty decreased by 8.8% year on year to RMB66,175 million. The "Ping An Auto Owner" app, the largest automotive service app in China, had over 133 million registered users as of March 31, 2021, up by 5.1% year to date.
The Company continued to improve the asset allocation of its investment portfolio of insurance funds and the management of asset-liability matching. The Company's investment portfolio of insurance funds grew by 1.1% year to date to RMB3.78 trillion as of March 31, 2021. The investment portfolio of insurance funds achieved an annualized net investment yield of 3.5% and an annualized total investment yield of 3.1% in the first three months of 2021.
Ping An Bank maintained stable business operations and improved asset quality. In the first three months of 2021, revenue increased by 10.2% year on year to RMB41,788 million, and net profit grew by 18.5% year on year to RMB10,132 million. As of March 31, 2021, Ping An Bank's retail assets under management (AUM) rose by 6.8% year to date to RMB2,802,610 million and retail customers increased by 3.0% year to date to 110.4 million. The non-performing loan ratio improved by 0.08 pps year to date to 1.10% as of March 31, 2021, while the provision coverage ratio increased by 43.76 pps to 245.16%. In the first three months of 2021, the average cost of deposits was 2.06%, down 0.36 pps year on year. The average daily balance of retail demand deposits increased by 18.5% year on year and the average daily balance of corporate demand deposits grew by 26.5% year on year, reflecting the continued cost optimization of deposits.
Ping An continues to further its technology strategies and rapidly develop its technology business.
The Company's technology patent applications increased by 1,100 year to date to 32,512 as of March 31, 2021, more than most other international financial institutions. Moreover, in the period, Ping An won four championships in the International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval2021) and one championship in one of the tasks of MEDIQA 2021, an international medical question answering assessment.
Ping An continues to further its technology strategies and rapidly develop its technology business. The total revenue of the technology business increased by 20.1% year on year to RMB23,824 million in the first three months of 2021.
Ping An Good Doctor, as an integral part of the Group's healthcare ecosystem, has built an AI-aided in-house medical team of over 2,000 people and integrated offline healthcare networks to provide online-merge-offline healthcare. In January 2021, the "Ping An Good Doctor" app was officially renamed the "Ping An Healthcare" app. Moreover, Ping An Good Doctor established an insurance business unit to strengthen online business cooperation with insurers including Ping An Health Insurance Company of China, Ltd. and provide one-stop, all-round and end-to-end online "healthcare + insurance" services.
Ping An HealthKonnect strives to be a smart technology company that fully empowers the healthcare ecosystem by leveraging its industry-leading experience in social health insurance (SHI), medical, health and disease management. In the first three months of 2021, Ping An HealthKonnect won seven new bids to construct provincial-level SHI platforms.
Lufax Holding is one of the leading technology-empowered personal financial services platforms in China. In retail credit facilitation, Lufax Holding efficiently connects borrowers with banks, trust companies and insurers on its "Aggregate Model" retail lending platform to provide small and micro-business owners with quick, convenient lending services. In wealth management, Lufax Holding has partnered with financial product providers and built a technology-powered smart business development framework, using AI to match customers with products and providing middle-class and affluent investors with diverse customized products.
OneConnect is China's leading technology-as-a-service platform for financial institutions. It established a product line featuring "horizontal integration" in banking, insurance and asset management sectors and "vertical full coverage" from Software as a Service (SaaS) to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). OneConnect offers full-process services, including marketing and customer acquisition, risk management, operational management and smart operations, as well as end-to-end technological services, including data management, core systems and cloud platforms. Through these services, OneConnect provides financial institutions with comprehensive technological empowerment. As of December 31, 2020, OneConnect had invested more than RMB3.8 billion since 2017 in research and development, which was equivalent to more than 40% of revenue every year. By the end of December 2020, OneConnect had served nearly 700 banks and more than 100 insurance institutions in mainland China, and more than 100 partner institutions in 20 countries and regions overseas. OneConnect served or signed strategic partnership agreements with the Technology Supervision Bureau of China Securities Regulatory Commission, the Insurance Asset Management Association of China, the China Insurance Assets Registration and Trading System Co. Ltd., the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and the Finance Regulatory Bureau of Hainan Province. In the international market, OneConnect provided technology services to the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) and the Singapore Exchange (SGX). OneConnect continues to promote fintech business innovation. As of December 31, 2020, OneConnect had filed 4,846 technology patent applications and had been honored as one of KPMG's China Leading Fintech 50 companies for three consecutive years.
Autohome is China's leading online auto services platform. Autohome took control of TTP Car Inc. in late 2020, and is promoting strategic synergy and integration to develop a used car transaction ecosystem. Autohome was listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on March 15, 2021.
Ping An's smart city business has gone live in 152 cities across China as well as countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. In digital government services, Ping An helps governments improve city governance via an integrated smart government services platform and advance the "internet + government services" reform via an integrated smart citizen services platform. In promoting the digital economy, Ping An builds an integrated digital business operations platform to provide comprehensive services, including consulting and planning, operations management, training, data governance and application. In digital citizen services, Ping An's integrated smart citizen services platform has attracted over 35 million registered users and over 2.6 billion visits since its go-live. Ping An's vocational education services platform had served over 55 million users, attracting over 1.22 billion participations in training sessions on the platform as of March 31, 2021.
Ma Mingzhe, Chairman of Ping An, said, "The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China and the beginning of China's 14th Five-Year Plan. It is also a particularly important year in China's modernization drive, having successfully emerged as a moderately prosperous society, across a spectrum of measures. The Company will uphold the compliance philosophy of 'Regulations + 1' and further improve operations in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Moreover, the Company will pursue steady progress by continuously advancing the Group 'finance + technology' and 'finance + ecosystem' transformation strategies, as its contribution to assist the further modernization of China. The Company will adhere to the philosophy of 'expertise makes life easier, technology makes financial services 'heartwarming', and healthcare makes life better.' The Company will develop 'heartwarming' products and services under the policy of 'deepening reform, pursuing sustainable growth, and planning for the future', by leveraging fintech and the healthcare ecosystem. In this way, the Company will create value for shareholders and customers, and contribute to social development."
SOURCE Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd.