CHINA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED ANNOUNCES 2023 INTERIM RESULTS (H SHARES)

HONG KONG, Aug. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — China Life Insurance Company Limited (SSE: 601628, SEHK: 2628) announces the unaudited consolidated results of the Company (China Life Insurance Company Limited and its subsidiaries) for the six months ended 30 June 2023 (the “Reporting Period”) prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards today.

Highlights

Since 1 January 2023, the Company has adopted IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments and IFRS 17 – Insurance Contracts. The Company has restated and presented the comparative information associated with insurance contracts in accordance with IFRS 17 – Insurance Contracts, and there is no need to restate and present any comparative information associated with financial instruments in accordance with IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments. As at the end of the Reporting Period, the Company’s total assets reached RMB5,507,193 million (an increase of 9.9% from the end of 2022), and the Company’s embedded value was RMB1,311,669 million (an increase of 6.6% from the end of 2022), both of which remained the industry leadership position. During the Reporting Period, the Company’s total revenue was RMB186,324 million. During the Reporting Period, the Company’s gross written premiums amounted to RMB470,115 million, a year-on-year increase of 6.9%, hitting a record high for the same period in history and still leading the industry; the value of half year’s sales for the six months ended 30 June 2023 was RMB30,864 million, a year-on-year increase of 19.9%, continuing to lead the industry. As at the end of the Reporting Period, the Company’s investment assets reached RMB5,386,667 million. During the Reporting Period, the Company’s net investment income was RMB90,585 million, and the net investment yield was 3.31%; the gross investment income of the Company was RMB91,372 million, and the gross investment yield was 3.33%. During the Reporting Period, net profit attributable to equity holders of the Company was RMB36,151 million. The Company will not declare an interim dividend of ordinary shares for the Reporting Period.

Review of Business Operations in the First Half of 2023[1] 

In the first half of 2023, as China’s economic and social development has fully returned to normal, the market demands have gradually recovered, and the overall economy showed a good momentum of recovery. However, the external environment was complicated, and the foundation for sustained recovery of domestic economy was not solid yet. The good momentum of the macro economy drove steady recovery and growth of the life insurance industry. The industry regulator, concentrating on the areas of social concern with far-reaching impacts, including promoting the development of industry in a regulated manner, and serving people’s livelihood and the real economy, further optimised financial regulatory policy system to strengthen compliant operations, so as to firmly pursue the high-quality development of the industry.

The Company firmly implemented the business strategy of “achieving stable growth, prioritising business value, optimising structure, strengthening sales force, promoting reforms and guarding against risks”, adhered to the original role of insurance, and pursued high-quality development. It proactively seized development opportunities arising from the recovery of the industry and made breakthroughs for business expansion through innovation, thus achieving a steady progress while maintaining stability in its overall operations with its market leading position remaining solidified. As at the end of the Reporting Period, the Company’s total assets reached RMB5.51 trillion, investment assets reached RMB5.39 trillion, and embedded value reached RMB1,311,669 million, all of which remained the industry leadership position. The comprehensive solvency ratio and core solvency ratio continued to maintain at relatively high levels, which were 204.23% and 140.43%, respectively. The number of long-term in-force policies held by the Company reached 326 million.

The Company maintained its strategic consistency, continued to strengthen its asset-liability interaction, consistently implemented its medium- to long-term strategy asset allocation, and adopted multiple measures to stabilise investment returns. In the first half of 2023, the gross investment income of the Company were RMB91,372 million, and the net profit attributable to equity holders of the Company was RMB36,151 million.

Prioritising business value, in the first half of 2023, the Company realised a strong growth in its insurance business with its business structure continuously optimised. Its gross written premiums amounted to RMB470,115 million, a year-on-year increase of 6.9%, hitting a record high for the same period in history and still leading the industry. The key business performance indicators achieved a rapid growth. Premiums from new policies reached RMB171,213 million, a year-on-year increase of 22.9%. First-year regular premiums were RMB97,418 million, increasing by 22.0% year on year. In particular, first-year regular premiums with a payment duration of ten years or longer reached RMB38,957 million, a year-on-year increase of 28.9%, and its proportion in the first-year regular premiums rose by 2.13 percentage points, showing a significant improvement in business structure. The value of half year’s sales was RMB30,864 million, a year-on-year increase of 19.9%, continuing to lead the industry.

The Company vigorously pushed forward the “Eight Reform Programs”, aiming to foster new growth drivers through reforms and innovation. In the first half of 2023, it introduced several strategic measures and reform programs that focused on Party building as the guide, mechanism optimisation, sales system reforms, resources integration, management innovation and ecological driving forces, making new breakthroughs in reforms on key areas. The Company deeply advanced sales system reforms in the individual agent business sector by defining two key focuses for reforms, namely “enhancement of professional competence of the existing sales force” and “exploring new sales models”, as well as two guarantee and supporting strategies, namely “the ‘product + services’ ecosystem” and “precise technology empowerment”, and accelerated the transformation and upgrading of a specialised and professional agent force. The project for upgrading the exiting sales force was fully launched. The Company accelerated the construction of a healthcare and senior-care ecosystem and created a development model with the residential senior-care services in “city center” as the main model and the residential senior-care services in “suburb”, home-based senior-care services and community-based senior-care services as the complementary model. The Company also proceeded with the deployment of senior-care projects, and carried out senior-care service projects in some major cities to develop its own capability in supplying inclusive healthcare and integrated senior-care services at a faster speed, so as to satisfy the diversified needs of people for healthcare and senior-care services. The Company fully advanced the FinTech and Digitalisation Program and actively pushed forward the upgrading of its corporate network to 5G by implementing new technologies as a breakthrough. With the Cloud Native concept applying to the whole process of technological construction, the Company fully applied AI technologies in each aspect of its core value chain, and gave full play to data factors, to further enhance the supporting and empowering function of digitalisation and intellectualisation to its business operation and management in all aspects.

Insurance Business

During the Reporting Period, gross written premiums from the life insurance business of the Company were RMB388,558 million, a year-on-year increase of 9.0%. Gross written premiums from the health insurance business were RMB73,058 million, a year-on-year decrease of 3.0%. Gross written premiums from the accident insurance business were RMB8,499 million, a year-on-year increase of 4.2%.

In the first half of 2023, the life insurance industry showed a good momentum of recovery. Seizing the opportunities of such recovery, the Company focused on business value growth, proceeded with transformation in greater depth, and made manifested achievements in high-quality business development. Its gross written premiums hit a record high in the first half of the year with its business structure significantly optimised, and the value of half year’s sales rose rapidly. The size of the Company’s sales force was gradually stabilised. As at the end of the Reporting Period, the total number of its sales force was 721,000, and the productivity per person of the individual agent business sector, bancassurance channel and group insurance channel realised a significant year-on-year increase.

Individual Agent Business Sector

The individual agent business sector strived to make progress while maintaining stability and consistently deepened business channel restructuring. A rapid growth was achieved in all indicators for the new business, and the business structure was significantly optimised. During the Reporting Period, gross written premiums from the sector were RMB362,101 million, an increase of 2.7% year on year. In particular, renewal premiums were RMB272,499 million. First-year regular premiums were RMB80,109 million, an increase of 16.2% year on year. First-year regular premiums with a payment duration of ten years or longer were RMB38,950 million, an increase of 28.9% year on year, and its proportion in the first-year regular premiums was 48.62%, an increase of 4.81 percentage points year on year. In the first half of 2023, the value of half year’s sales of the sector was RMB27,404 million, an increase of 13.3% year on year.

In the first half of 2023, the individual agent business sector adhered to the strategy of “productive agents-driven business”, concentrated on the “Sales Channel Strengthening Program”, and emphasised on two key focuses for reforms, namely “enhancement of professional competence of the existing sales force” and “exploring new sales models”, to deeply proceed with the sales system reforms in the sector, with an aim to accelerate the transformation and upgrading of a specialised and professional agent force. The “Regular Operation 4.0 System for the Team Building of the Individual Agent Business Sector” was steadily advanced to strengthen the technological support for team building and increase the team’s overall capability. The “Zhongxin Project” was carried out to optimise agent recruitment and development, and the recruitment requirements were further improved. The size of its sales force was stablised as a whole. As at the end of the Reporting Period, the number of agents of the sector was 661,000, generally stable compared with the end of 2022, including 424,000 agents from the general sales team and 237,000 agents from the upsales team. The quality of sales force continued to improve, with an increase in both the number and proportion of high-performance agents. Meanwhile, the productivity of the sales force was improved substantially and the monthly average first-year regular premiums per agent rose by 38.1% year on year.

Diversified Business Sector

With high-quality development as the guidance, the diversified business sector concentrated on specialised business operation, and insisted on transformation and upgrading as well as enhancing quality and efficiency. In the first half of 2023, the Company further optimised and innovated the operation models for its diversified channels, and fostered the new development of the sector by making breakthroughs in refining channels management, increasing value creation from such channels, and pursuing market-oriented operating mechanism, etc.

Bancassurance Channel   Grasping the trend of the market, the bancassurance channel deepened and expanded its cooperation with banks, and achieved a rapid growth in the scale of its premiums. During the Reporting Period, gross written premiums from the channel amounted to RMB62,066 million, an increase of 45.7% year on year. With its efforts on deepening structural transformation, and increasing the sales of medium- and long-term bancassurance products, it achieved a significant optimisation in its business structure. First-year regular premiums were RMB17,294 million, an increase of 59.2% year on year. First-year regular premiums with a payment duration of five years or longer were RMB7,527 million, with its proportion in the first-year regular premiums rising by 11.20 percentage points year on year to 43.52%. Renewal premiums amounted to RMB25,641 million (a year-on-year decrease of 0.3%), accounting for 41.31% of gross written premiums from the channel. The bancassurance channel constantly enhanced the professional and technological capabilities of its account manager team, the quality of which was improved steadily. As at the end of the Reporting Period, the number of account managers of the bancassurance channel reached 23,000, and the quarterly average active managers recorded a year-on-year growth of 13.8%, with the productivity of regular premiums per account manager increased substantially.

Group Insurance Channel   The group insurance channel coordinated business scale and profitability and pushed forward stable development in all business lines. During the Reporting Period, gross written premiums from the channel were RMB15,923 million, a decrease of 5.0% year on year. In particular, short-term insurance premiums from the channel were RMB14,390 million, a decrease of 5.1% year on year. As at the end of the Reporting Period, the number of direct sales representatives was approximately 37,000, among which the proportion of high-performance personnel rose by 4.6 percentage points from the end of 2022.

Other Channels   During the Reporting Period, gross written premiums from other channels were RMB30,025 million, an increase of 6.8% year on year. The Company proactively participated in a variety of government-sponsored health insurance businesses and supported the construction of a multi-tiered medical security system. As at the end of the Reporting Period, the Company carried out over 200 supplementary major medical expenses insurance programs, covering nearly 350 million people. It also undertook over 60 policy-oriented long-term care insurance programs, providing services to more than 33 million people. Meanwhile, it implemented over 110 city-customised commercial medical insurance projects. The Company actively participated in social governance related to medical protection and continued to undertake over 390 health care entrusted programs.

Online Insurance Business

The Company continued to promote the development of the online insurance business and provided customers with a quality service experience through integrated online-to-offline sales and online direct sales. In the first half of 2023, the Company achieved new breakthroughs in exploring digital business operations and the development of online exclusive business, etc. Its digital sales capability was further strengthened, and its online insurance business grew rapidly. Total premiums[2] of online insurance business under the regulatory caliber were RMB53,680 million, an increase of 38.1% year on year. The Company consistently optimised its online insurance business operation system featuring centralised operation and unified management, and gave full play to the advantages of fast access, wide coverage and high efficiency of the Internet, to actively promote the development of its business and consistently enhance its core operating capabilities and channel value of the online insurance business.

Integrated Financial Business

The Company actively engaged in the construction of a “Life Insurance Plus” integrated financial ecosystem, with a view to empowering the Company’s high-quality development. In the first half of 2023, premiums of China Life Property and Casualty Insurance Company Limited (“CLP&C”) cross-sold by the Company through collaboration were RMB11,856 million. Through the cross-sale of property insurance products, the Company diversified its client contacts and facilitated its sales team to meet sales targets, maintain its size and secure a higher commission income. Additional first-year receipts of enterprise annuity funds and commercial pension products of China Life Pension Company Limited cross-sold by the Company through collaboration were RMB2,045 million. The Company entrusted China Guangfa Bank Co., Ltd. (“CGB”) to sell its bancassurance products, with the first-year regular premiums amounting to RMB1,612 million, an increase of 42.0% year on year. The Company also actively explored the synergy between insurance and investment business, continuously deepened the cooperation with China Life Asset Management Company Limited and China Life Investment Management Company Limited, etc., and constantly innovated and explored new insurance-investment interactive model in aspects such as investment project promotion and joint customer exploration. Besides, in order to satisfy the diverse needs of its customers, the Company has carried out various business operation activities by co-working with CLP&C and CGB, so as to provide customers with one-stop and all-round solutions of the high-quality financial and insurance services.

Inclusive Healthcare and Integrated Senior-care Service System

With insurance business as the core and the “people-centric” approach as the starting point and ultimate goal for the “insurance + healthcare and senior-care services” development, the Company fully advanced the “Healthcare and Senior-care Ecosystem Program” to accelerate its deployment in the healthcare and senior-care sector.

In the first half of 2023, with respect to the “insurance + healthcare services”, the Company fully consolidated internal and external high-quality resources and made consistent efforts to enhance its capability in health management services, creating a health management and service system integrating online and offline operations and with high quality and efficiency. As at the end of the Reporting Period, more than a hundred types of services were available on the China Life Inclusive Healthcare Service Platform, covering seven categories of health management services such as physical examination, health consulting, health promotion, disease prevention, chronic disease management, medical services and rehabilitation care, and the accumulated registered users of the platform increased by over 10% from the end of 2022, ranking among the top of the industry. With respect to the “insurance + senior-care services”, the Company accelerated its deployment in the healthcare and senior-care sector, enhanced its capability of service supply, and created a development model with the residential senior-care services in “city center” as the main model and the residential senior-care services in “suburb”, home-based senior-care services and community-based senior-care services as the complementary model. The Company accelerated the consolidation of the existing healthcare and senior-care resources by setting up the China Life Integrated Senior Care Fund, with the expansion of senior-care services to six additional key cities and launching the pilot programs of home-based senior-care services in five cities in the first half of the year.

As for the next stage, with an unchanged focus on its principal insurance business, the Company will strengthen its ability comprehensively to integrate the inclusive healthcare and integrated senior-care businesses and enhance its platform influence. By creating a close-loop system of “products – services – payment”, the Company will develop its core competitiveness of “product + services”, so as to facilitate its transformation from risk compensation to full chain management of risks, making significant contributions in strengthening the social security system, and improving people’s wellbeing and quality of life.

Analysis of Insurance Products

The Company actively served national strategies and adhered to the original aspiration of “providing insurance services for the people”. In light of the internal and external environments for product research and development, the Company further strengthened the underlying ecosystem construction of products and optimised its product structure, so as to enhance its product supply capability in a responsive, efficient and secured manner. It also made continuous efforts in exploring the criteria and rules on service-product integration to improve the supply efficiency of its “product + services”. In the first half of 2023, the Company newly developed and upgraded a total of 78 insurance products.

In actively serving the Healthy China initiative, the Company steadily promoted the research and development of products with respect to critical illness insurance, care insurance and medical insurance, to provide better health protection for customers with diversified demands. It developed through innovation the insurance product series named the “Xiang Ban Fu” and other products on the basis of the product series named the “Zun Xiang Fu” and “Hui Xiang Fu“, and launched illness insurance products especially for students and children such as “Le Xue Wu You“. To actively serve the national strategy of proactively responding to population aging, the Company continued to develop products, such as pension insurance and long-term care insurance, after the launch of the third-pillar private pension insurance product. It also actively implemented pilot programs of insurance liability conversion between life insurance and long-term care insurance, for the purpose of satisfying the diverse needs of customers for pension security. Moreover, the Company actively facilitated rural revitalisation and regional harmonious development by continuously rolling out its exclusive series of products for rural revitalisation to provide insurance protection against death, medical treatments and accidents for the relevant groups of people, and exploring the product supply for the designated regions by launching the accident injury insurance of Hainan Free Trade Port and other insurance products. It also carried out in-depth studies on the needs of professional athletes for retirement protection and promoted innovation in the development of sports insurance products.

Investment Business[3]

In the first half of 2023, the interest rate of fixed-income assets was adjusted downward after a short-term surge at the beginning of the year, and the low interest rate environment with a shortage of quality assets remained unchanged. The stock market was under fluctuation with diversified sector performance. Under the complicated and ever-changing market environment, the Company firmly maintained its strategic consistency and pursued asset-liability matching management. It carried out tactical asset allocation flexibly by actively seizing market opportunities under the guidance of strategic asset allocation. Adhering to the “dumbbell type” allocation strategy for fixed-income assets, the Company increased allocation to bonds with long duration by leveraging short-term opportunities presented by interest rate rebounds at the start of the year. The Company consistently pursued balanced allocations and structural optimisation with its equity asset positions remaining stable in general. Besides, it took proactive actions to expand reserves of alternative investment projects and made innovation in investment models, maintaining a stable size of alternative asset allocations.

As at the end of the Reporting Period, the Company’s investment assets reached RMB5,386,667 million. Among the major types of investments, the percentage of investment in bonds was 53.86%, the percentage of term deposits was 8.28%, the percentage of investment in debt-type financial products was 8.87%, and the percentage of investment in stocks and funds (excluding money market funds) was 11.13%.

In the first half of 2023, the Company’s net investment income was RMB90,585 million, and the net investment yield was 3.31%; the gross investment income of the Company was RMB91,372 million, and the gross investment yield was 3.33%.

Outlook

The insurance industry embodies the concept of love and sharing at the most in itself. As a leading company in the industry, China Life will apply new development concepts completely, accurately and consistently. We will deeply promote the upgrading of business modes towards ecological chain operation and collaborative development of integrated finance, and speed up the progress of the sales system reforms and digital transformation. Being customer-centric, we will firmly stick to the principle of utmost good faith and safeguard people’s wellbeing, with an aim to make insurance become a caring and trusted partner of our clients.

[1] The data regarding premiums (including gross written premiums, premiums from new policies, first-year regular premiums, first-year regular premiums with a payment duration of ten years or longer, renewal premiums, single premiums and short-term insurance business premiums, etc.) in this interim results are relevant data under Accounting Standards for Business Enterprises.

[2] Including premiums from online insurance business acquired by different sales channels of the Company.

[3] In accordance with IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments, there is no need for the Company to restate and present any comparative information associated with financial instruments. Therefore, comparative information on investment business is not presented because of no comparability.

About China Life Insurance Company Limited

China Life Insurance Company Limited is a life insurance company established in Beijing, China on 30 June 2003 according to the “Company Law of the People’s Republic of China” and the “Insurance Law of the People’s Republic of China“. The Company was successfully listed overseas in December 2003 and returned to the domestic market as an A-share listed Company in January 2007. The Company’s registered capital is RMB28,264,705,000.

The Company is a leading life insurance company in China and possesses an extensive distribution network comprising exclusive agents, direct sales representatives, and dedicated and non-dedicated agencies. The Company is one of the largest institutional investors in China, and becomes one of the largest insurance asset management companies in China through its controlling shareholding in China Life Asset Management Company Limited. The Company also has controlling shareholding in China Life Pension Company Limited.

Our products and services include individual life insurance, group life insurance, and accident and health insurance. The Company is a leading provider of individual and group life insurance, annuity products and accident and health insurance in China. As at 30 June 2023, the Company had approximately 326 million long-term individual and group life insurance policies, annuity contracts, and long-term health insurance policies in force. We also provide both individual and group accident and short-term health insurance policies and services.

Forward-looking statements

Certain statements contained in this press release may be viewed as “forward-looking statements” as defined by Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may mean that the actual performance, financial condition or results of operations of the Company could be materially different from any future performance, financial condition or results of operations implied by such forward-looking statements. Further information regarding these risks, uncertainties and other factors is included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2022 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, on 21 April 2023, and in the Company’s other filings with the SEC. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Unless otherwise stated, all information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and the Company undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.

Unless otherwise indicated, the Chinese insurance market information set forth in this press release is based on public information released by National Administration of Financial Regulation.

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