KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 25): Manulife Holdings Bhd registered a net loss of RM7.88 million for its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2019 (3QFY19) — its first quarter in the red since the group was listed in 2002 — versus a net profit of RM3.93 million a year ago, dragged by its life insurance business segment, as claims climbed.
Consequently, it booked a loss per share of 3.9 sen in 3QFY19 against an earnings per share of 1.95 sen in 3QFY18, its quarterly results announcement today showed. Revenue fell 19.9% to RM256.83 million from RM320.64 million.
The group said its life insurance business segment recorded a loss before tax of RM13.84 million versus a profit before tax of RM5.38 million last year, as the segment experienced worsened claims. This is despite an increase in operating revenue to RM280.80 million from RM272.47 million, on higher premium income.
The weakness in its life insurance business could not be fully offset by its improved investment holding segment, which reported a higher PBT of RM3.84 million compared to RM134,000 last year, following higher net realised gains on disposal of debt securities and lower management expenses. Its asset management services segment’s PBT also improved to RM2.54 million from RM1.19 million, due to lower management expenses.
For the cumulative nine-month period (9MFY19), the group’s net profit fell 35.58% to RM12.47 million from RM19.36 million in the previous year’s corresponding period, despite revenue growing 13.22% to RM920.41 million from RM812.93 million. The weaker performance was again due to its life insurance business segment, which saw PBT declining RM20.21 million to RM5.36 million from RM25.57 million previously.
The group said it remains cautious for the rest of 2019.
“Tapping on Manulife Investment Management’s global expertise, we are expanding our international offerings and providing more innovative products to meet investors’ needs in these uncertain times,” it noted.
“Our insurance segment faces certain exposure to fluctuations in interest rates. As a result, this may give rise to short-term volatility in earnings,” it added.
Shares of Manulife were untraded today. They last closed at RM2.46 apiece on Nov 18, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM497.83 million.