FWD Group reports robust growth and strategic milestones in 2023

Executive outlines group's growth plans

FWD Group reports robust growth and strategic milestones in 2023

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

FWD Group Holdings Limited has disclosed its financial outcomes for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31 (FY23).

The FY23 financial report shed light on the significant financial strides made by the company over the past year.

Key figures from FWD Group's FY23 financial report

The financial highlights revealed an uptick in the value of new business, which saw a 22% increase to US$991 million. Furthermore, there was a noteworthy 27% rise in operating profit after tax, amounting to US$372 million. The solvency ratio of the group improved to 292%, marking an increase from the previous year's 288%.

February 2024 marked a pivotal moment for FWD Group, with the establishment of a US$685 million revolving credit facility, elevating its total available undrawn committed credit facilities to US$1.185 billion. The year also witnessed FWD Group receiving its first credit ratings, achieving an “A” insurer financial strength rating from Fitch and an “A3” rating from Moody’s.

Huynh Thanh Phong, CEO of FWD Group, highlighted the company's successful strategy execution that led to profitability across all its geographic business segments for the first time.

“With these results, FWD has again proven its ability to drive organic growth and operating profitability across our business, as we execute our customer-led and digitally enabled strategy. Our 10th anniversary year was a transformational one for FWD, representing a key inflection point where all four geographic business segments delivered operating profit for the first time,” he said.

Key drivers of FWD Group's financial success in 2023

A significant driver of FWD's success has been its robust performance in specific regions, particularly the notable recovery in tourism from Mainland China to the Hong Kong and Macau SARs.

The Thailand market showed strong performance due to its dominance in bancassurance and the agency sales channel. The pivot in Japan towards individual insurance from corporate-owned life insurance has also contributed significantly to the company's success.

The emerging markets segment marked a milestone by achieving its first full-year operating profit after tax, despite challenges in Vietnam.

FWD Group's deals

A strategic transaction in November 2023 with Athene Holding Ltd, involving a block reinsurance of a whole life insurance policy portfolio in Japan, was highlighted in the financial report. This move is set to provide FWD Group with enhanced capital and risk management capabilities, despite the immediate impact on the 2023 IFRS net profits due to the timing differences in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

FWD Group's strategic initiatives, including its majority stake in FWD Takaful Berhad in Malaysia and an increased investment in BRI Life in Indonesia, illustrate the company's ambition to solidify its presence in the Asian insurance market.

“Everything we do at FWD aims to empower our customers to celebrate living, knowing they have the protection they need, at the moments that matter in their lives. As we look ahead, enhancing our presence and deepening FWD's footprint across the 10 markets we operate in will be a top priority as we continue to build scale in our business,” said Huynh Thanh Phong.

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