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12 Feb 2010

NTUC Income Reports Record Results for 2009 – Weighted Life Insurance New Business Premiums Reach $275 million

Singapore, 12 February 2010 – NTUC Income, Singapore’s leading composite insurer offering life, health, general insurance and investment-linked products, has reported a set of sterling results for 2009. This attests to the successful implementation of its transformation programme, which includes a stronger focus on its core insurance business to benefit customers, emphasis on professionalism and excellence and a multi-channel strategy to provide choice for all segments of society.

Premium revenues grew by 12.6% to reach $2.95 billion in 2009 – a milestone in Income’s 40-year history – up from $2.62 billion the previous year. NTUC Income took 29 years to achieve its first $1 billion in 1999 and the next 6 years to reach the $2 billion mark in 2005.

NTUC Income also set records on other fronts in 2009:  Weighted life insurance new business premiums grew 7% from $256 million in 2008 to $275 million, compared to the industry’s contraction estimated at minus 14% for the full year. At the end of Q3 2009, Income’s market share in weighted life insurance new business premiums increased to 18.1%, up from 13.7% the previous year.

For the first time, NTUC Income made significant inroads in Bancassurance channel, securing sales of $245 million ($8 million in 2008) in single premium sales through DBS, UOB, Citibank, SBI and CIMB.

This underscores the growing importance of NTUC Income’s multi-channel strategy, following its successful penetration into the Financial Advisers market in 2008. NTUC Income expects to continue its dominance in this channel in 2010.

Strong Performance in Motor Insurance
NTUC Income, which is the largest motor insurer, also reported a return to profitability in its motor insurance business, with Gross Written Premiums maintained at $236 million for the year. While Income’s market share declined from 26% to 22%, it believes it remains the largest motor insurer.

NTUC Income Chief Executive Tan Suee Chieh said: “Three years ago, we made a declaration that we want to be the biggest and the best insurer in Singapore.

“I would attribute our success primarily to the change in culture at Income, which now places a decided emphasis on a more professional approach to managing the business, achieving excellence and being performance oriented. We now have additional competencies which were brought in by new managers and which have helped us execute our multi-channel distribution strategy. We had the support and confidence of staff and financial consultants who had been in Income for many years, and we earned the trust and confidence of the channel partners we have been developing, including the banks and financial advisory firms.

“Our energies are now focused on making NTUC Income the best insurer. That means making NTUC Income a social enterprise of distinction, and a Singapore icon.”

NTUC Income’s Ongoing Transformation
Looking ahead, NTUC Income plans to continue its transformation in areas like its systems, processes and practices, while reinforcing its leadership status in the market.  It will launch a new customer service initiative, upgrade its distribution channels to give customer better access, and present its products – which already offer superior value, features and returns  –  in a smarter and more creative way.

Giving Back to the Community
As a social enterprise, NTUC Income remains committed to improving the lives of Singaporeans, a mission that is at the core of its existence.

During the economic downturn in 2009, the company announced a number of initiatives to benefit customers and needy Singaporeans. These included maintaining the yields and payouts of all its life insurance policies maturing or terminating that year, providing a free IncomeShield upgrade for all children, introducing a $1 million “Income Cares Fund” to help its annuitants, and contributing $1.16 million to NTUC's U Care programme to help families of poor or retrenched workers.

These aids came on top of the existing $2 million NTUC Income sets aside yearly for its contributions to the community, including its support for the Moral Home For The Disabled, which it adopted in 1992.

The company will be stepping up its commitment to help the poor and underprivileged, through a number of community projects which will be announced at a later date.

The various initiatives under its transformation and community outreach look set to make 2010 another remarkable year for NTUC Income, as it gears up for its 40th anniversary celebrations this year.