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Archive for October 14th, 2011

AIA Group — Third Quarter 2011 New Business Highlights

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AIA Reports Record New Business Performance

HONG KONG, Oct. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — AIA Group Limited (AIA or Group; stock code: 1299) announces a record new business performance for the quarter ended 31 August 2011, with Value of New Business rising 53 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2010 to its highest ever quarterly figure of US$245 million.

Our continued focus on AIA’s profitable growth strategy delivered:

— Value of New Business(1) (VONB) up 53 per cent to US$245 million
— Underlying Group VONB margin(2) up 4.5 percentage points (pps) to
36.0 per cent
— Annualised New Premium(3) (ANP) up 52 per cent to US$766 million
— Total Weighted Premium Income(4) (TWPI) up 14 per cent to US$3,752
million

Margin excludes the VONB from a single large Australian group scheme mandate acquired and announced in 2010 which came into effect in the third quarter of 2011. Including this scheme, the overall margin for the quarter was broadly unchanged from the previous year at 31.6 per cent.

KEY FINANCIAL SUMMARY

Three months ended Nine months ended
31 August 31 August
US$ millions, unless otherwise stated 2011 2010 YoY% 2011 2010 YoY%
Value of New Business (VONB) 245 160 53% 644 463 39%
VONB Margin ex large group scheme 36.0% 31.5% 4.5 pps 36.0% 32.9% 3.1 pps
Annualised New Premium (ANP) 766 503 52% 1,860 1,390 34%
Total Weighted Premium Income (TWPI) 3,752 3,305 14% 10,517 9,327 13%

Commenting on the positive results, Mark Tucker, AIA’s Group Chief Executive and President, said: “AIA’s very strong new business performance over the third quarter demonstrates a continued focus on our strategic priority of delivering sustained profitable growth.

“AIA’s 53 per cent growth in VONB builds on the strong momentum reported at the half-year and reflects the Group*s early successes in launching new product initiatives targeted at meeting the life insurance protection and savings needs of the Asian consumer. We have continued to deliver productivity increases and product enhancements while rolling out our core Premier Agency strategy across the region.

“AIA’s diversified operations are exclusively focused on Asia Pacific, with a spread of businesses across 15 markets. The Group has operated successfully in the region through many economic cycles over its 90-year history and Asia is the most attractive place in the world in which to operate as a life insurer.

“We remain confident that the region*s dynamic economic growth and vast demand for savings and protection products will continue to provide the Group with significant profitable growth opportunities for many years to come.

“AIA has the brand reach, agency distribution franchise, balance sheet strength, broad product range and exceptional cash flow generation to place the Group in an excellent position to capture these opportunities.”

SUMMARY FOR THE THIRD QUARTER

Value of New Business

VONB increased 53 per cent to US$245 million compared with the third quarter of 2010.

All major geographies contributed a strong performance to the overall increase with momentum continuing from the half-year results. Malaysia, in particular, reported an uplift compared to the first half of the year as a result of ongoing repricing, an increase in sales of investment-linked products and a targeted focus on life protection products. China saw continued growth in VONB with increased sales of its innovative comprehensive protection product.

The number of active agents increased over the period, while productivity improved as AIA continued to roll out its Premier Agency strategy across the region. New product launches targeted at the under-penetrated Protection market, ongoing repricing actions of existing products and shifts in product mix towards regular premium products with higher life insurance content continued to drive margin expansion. Increased numbers of active agents, productivity improvements and margin expansion combined to drive the substantial increase in VONB over the year to date.

AIA’s margin expanded 4.5 pps year-on-year to 36.0 per cent excluding the previously announced single large group life policy in Australia. This is consistent with the 36.0 per cent margin reported over the first half of 2011. Each of the major geographies contributed materially to the increase.

Annualised New Premium and Total Weighted Premium Income

While AIA’s new business focus is on VONB, ANP also rose significantly by 52 per cent to US$766 million in the third quarter. TWPI increased by 14 per cent to US$3,752 million with double-digit growth across most operations.

Outlook

Volatility in global capital markets increased over the summer due to a deteriorating economic outlook in Europe and the US and concerns over European sovereign debt. Asian economies start from a more secure foundation with stronger economic growth, lower leverage and the political will and capacity to take the appropriate counter-cyclical measures.

The drivers of the future growth in Asian insurance markets remain firmly in place. Rising affluence is profoundly important in extending the scope for long term savings and, with accelerating health care costs further increasing demand for medical protection across the region, consumers are seeking greater security and stability which will also benefit AIA..

Against this backdrop, AIA continues to focus on the key business fundamentals and executing its growth strategy. AIA is in a unique position within the region to meet this rising demand and we remain highly confident about AIA’s growth prospects in Asia.

– End –

Investment Community News Media
Paul Lloyd +852 2832 6160 Paul Scanlon +852 2832 6178
Angela Chang +852 2832 5480 Sonia Tsang +852 2832 1868
Feon Lee +852 2832 4704 Emerald Ng +852 2832 4720

As for all quarterly new business announcements, there will not be a conference call for media or investors but your usual contact will be available to answer queries.

About the AIA Group

AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries comprise the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group in the world. It has wholly-owned main operating subsidiaries or branches in 14 markets in Asia Pacific — Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Macau and Brunei — and a 26 per cent joint venture shareholding in India.

The business that is now AIA was first established in Shanghai over 90 years ago. It is a market leader in the Asia Pacific region (ex-Japan) based on life insurance premiums, and holds leading positions across the majority of its markets. It had total assets of US$115,782 million as of 31 May 2011.

AIA meets the savings and protection needs of individuals by offering a comprehensive suite of products and services including retirement planning, life insurance and accident and health insurance. The Group also provides employee benefits, credit life and pension services to corporate clients. Through an extensive network of agents and employees across Asia Pacific, AIA serves the holders of over 23 million individual policies and over 10 million participating members of group schemes.

AIA is listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the stock code “1299” with American Depositary Receipts (Level 1) being traded on the OTC market (ticker symbol: “AAGIY”).

Footnotes

1. Growth is shown on a year-on-year basis unless stated otherwise.
2. VONB margin excludes corporate pensions business.
3. ANP represents 100 per cent of annualised first year premiums plus 10 per cent of single premiums excluding corporate pensions business.
4. TWPI consists of 100 per cent of renewal premiums, 100 per cent of first year premiums and 10 per cent of single premiums.

Notes

5. The third fiscal quarter ended on 31 August 2011.
6. All figures are presented in actual reported currency (US dollar) and based on actual average exchange rates unless stated otherwise.
7. VONB is calculated based on assumptions applicable at the point of sale and before deducting the amount attributable to non-controlling interests. The amount of VONB attributable to non-controlling interests in the nine months ended 31 August 2011 was US$2 million (nine months 2010: US$2 million). Economic assumptions are materially unchanged from those shown as at 30 November 2010 in the 2010 full-year Preliminary Announcement published on 25 February 2011. Non-economic assumptions used are based on those at 30 November 2010 updated to reflect the latest experience observed.

This document contains forward looking statements relating to AIA Group Limited that are based on the beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to our management. These forward looking statements are, by their nature, subject to significant risks. When used in this document, the words “will”, “plan”, “should” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward looking statements. You are strongly cautioned that reliance on any forward looking statements involves known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results and events may differ materially from information contained in the forward looking statements.

SOURCE﹛AIA Group

Written by asiafreshnews

October 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Rackspace Australia Startup Program Launches Zero Cost Cloud Initiative for Incubators & Startups

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Pollenizer initiates momentum as first Australian incubator to join

SYDNEY, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ –Rackspace(R) Hosting( http://www.rackspace.com ) (NYSE: RAX), the service leader in IT hosting and cloud computing, has evidenced its firm commitment towards entrepreneurship that leverages cloud computing technologies by announcing the Australia and New Zealand launch of its zero cost Rackspace Startup Program, with local firm Pollenizer being the first incubator to join.

The Rackspace Startup Program provides free cloud hosting and support services to local incubators that want to encourage their startup companies to use the cloud computing model of IT service delivery. With cloud computing’s inherent flexibility and elasticity, there is a clearly identifiable route for startups who want to optimise business productivity on the path to internal growth and business expansion.

“Startups have a multiplicity of commercially sensitive factors to juggle that they need to manage – from strategic planning and business development, to back end programming and IT systems development. Rackspace wants to make life easier for these new ventures. As such, we’re offering our cloud services and support to specially-selected incubators and their startup companies for free in an effort to build relationships and grow with them all as they continue to develop and expand,” said Jim Fagan, VP and Managing Director, Rackspace APAC.

“Rackspace itself began as a startup in 1998 and has always taken a proactive approach towards assisting entrepreneurs and enterprises of all sizes,” said Mark Randall, Country Manager, Rackspace Australia & New Zealand. “Rackspace likes to refer to information technology as the “Fifth Utility” because cloud computing has now made IT accessible to everyone, everywhere. An individual can now start a company without the pain of high capital expenditure costs upfront whether they are located in Perth or Sydney. Business dollars can instead be directed towards important business tasks and research and development projects.

Pollenizer, a Sydney-based web business investor and builder, is the first Australian partner to sign up for the Rackspace Startup Program. The company undertakes a qualitative and quantitative analysis of each potential new startup and then makes a decision as to whether they are suitable for induction into the program.

“We are very pleased to have joined Rackspace’s startup initiative. It allows local companies, which we believe in, to concentrate on their core businesses without having to worry about their IT infrastructure. The Rackspace Startup Program is an amazing program and allows everyone involved to get to know each other and flourish as we assist these growing businesses in every way we can,” said Phil Morle, of Pollenizer.

Pollenizer builds and invests in Australian web start-ups. The Sydney-based team is made of 80 web-loving entrepreneurs, covering all aspects of a web business, and tightly integrates customer and product development to build fast and focused results. Pollenizer has successfully built up a high-profile portfolio of companies, including Mogeneration( http://mogeneration.com ), Posse( http://www.posse.com/home/index ), 99dresses and Spreets.

Australian or New Zealand incubators interested in the Rackspace Startup Program are asked to apply online: http://www.rackspacestartups.com or e-mail: Apac.Marketing@Rackspace.com( mailto:Apac.Marketing@Rackspace.com ).

Program partners around the world include Y Combinator( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/yc/index.html ), 500 Startups( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/500startups/index.html ), TechStars( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/techstars/index.html ), General Assembly( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/ga/index.html ), Capital Factory( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/capital-factory/index.html ), Dreamit Ventures( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/dreamit/index.html ), FirstMark( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/firstmark/index.html ), FundedBuy( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/fundedbuy/index.html ), ATI IC2( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/ati-ic2/index.html ), Collaborative Fund( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/collaborative/index.html ), StartX( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/startx/index.html ), NewME( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/newme/index.html ), FounderFuel( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/founderfuel/index.html ), The Next 36( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/next36/index.html ), and MassChallenge( http://www.rackspacestartups.com/masschallenge/index.html ).

For any press-related questions, please contact Mark Randall at mark.randall@rackspace.com or +61 (0)2 8249 4360.

About Rackspace:

Rackspace Hosting is the service leader in cloud computing, and the founder of OpenStack, an open source cloud platform. Rackspace provides Fanatical Support (R) to its customers, across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing. In 2010, Rackspace was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant by Gartner Inc. in the “2010 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service and Web Hosting. For more information, visit http://www.rackspace.com.au.
SOURCE Rackspace

Written by asiafreshnews

October 14, 2011 at 10:31 am

Posted in Business & Finance