Nippon Life Returns as Top Premium Revenue Earner in Japan
Tokyo, Nov. 26 (Jiji Press)--Nippon Life Insurance Co. regained the status of the top premium revenue earner in the Japanese life insurance industry in April-September, according to earnings reports released by Thursday.
Nippon Life's premium revenue in the first half of the current business year to next March grew 17.3 pct from a year before to 2,896.1 billion yen, exceeding 2,790.0 billion yen, up 7.8 pct, at Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. <8750>, which overtook Nippon Life in the year to March 2015. In the year, Nippon Life lost its number one status for the first time in the postwar period.
Nippon Life enjoyed brisk sales in April-September of group annuity policies and foreign currency-denominated single-premium whole life plans, which are sold at bank counters.
Kazuhiro Kojima, managing executive officer at Nippon Life, said at a news conference that the company aims to make efforts to establish the industry's number one position by not just being pleased with the half-year outcome.
Of Japan's nine major life insurers, six enjoyed premium revenue growth in April-September. Dai-ichi Life scored record premium revenue since 2008, when it started disclosing first-half group results, because of the inclusion of revenue of midsize U.S. lifer Protective Life Corp., which it made a wholly owned subsidiary in February.
Premium revenue dropped at T&D Holdings Inc. <8795>, which slashed sales of single-premium policies amid falling interest rates.
Five of the nine companies increased core business profits, with the profits jumping to record highs since the start of first-half result disclosure at Nippon Life, Dai-ichi Life, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. and Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. The yen's depreciation allowed their interest income on foreign bonds to grow.
Sony Life Insurance Co. saw its core business profit fall as it increased policy reserves related to guaranteed minimum benefits of variable life insurance policies.
The nine life insurers also include Sumitomo Life Insurance Co., Mitsui Life Insurance Co., and Asahi Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Following are the nine insurers' earnings in April-September in billions of yen, with year-on-year percent changes in parentheses:
Premium Revenue Core Biz Profit
Nippon 2,896.1 393.3
Dai-ichi 2,790.0 267.4
Meiji Yasuda 1,812.1 242.8
Sumitomo 1,490.9 163.8
T&D 803.4 91.8
Sony 508.7 14.4
Fukoku Mutual 398.2 46.2
Mitsui 259.2 11.5
Asahi Mutual 198.2 15.0
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