SUMMARY FOR THE FIRST QUARTER
VONB increased by 20 per cent to US$1,021 million with each of our operating market segments registering growth compared to the first quarter of 2017.
AIA’s wholly-owned operation in China was once again our fastest growing business in the first quarter, with excellent VONB growth driven by an increase in active agents and higher productivity. Our differentiated strategy continues to set AIA apart in the industry with full-time professional agents providing high-quality advice, supported by digital platforms that enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
In Hong Kong, we delivered positive growth in VONB, building on a strong performance in the first quarter of 2017. Lower ANP through the retail IFA channel was more than offset by increased profitability of the product mix, which was also a feature of the second half of 2017.
Singapore achieved very strong growth in VONB, with continued growth in regular premium protection business. Strong agency results benefited from both an increased number of active agents and productivity improvements. Malaysia also delivered very strong VONB growth, across both agency and partnership distribution channels.
VONB growth in Thailand was positive in the first quarter of 2018, supported by improvement in agent productivity. Our Other Markets segment delivered double-digit VONB growth with strong performances in Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam.
VONB margin improved strongly to 59.7 per cent, compared with 49.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, mainly driven by product and geographic mix. ANP increased by 1 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2017 to US$1,696 million, as lower sales volumes in Hong Kong were offset by double-digit growth across all other operating market segments. Margin reported on a present value of new business premium (PVNBP) basis remained strong at 10 per cent for the first quarter of 2018. Long-term economic assumptions remain unchanged from those shown in our Annual Report 2017, following the same approach that we have applied consistently for quarterly new business highlights. TWPI increased by 14 per cent to US$7,219 million, compared with the first quarter of 2017, as we continue to layer new business onto our large in-force portfolio.