AIA Insurance globally recognised as the Best Life Insurance Company in Sri Lanka, yet again
What makes a company the best? Is it it’s strength, stability and reputation? Is it the force of an exceptional team that drives it? Perhaps its unrivalled innovation and agility? Or more so, the fact that it goes above and beyond in what it offers its stakeholders. Maybe its world-class standards and exposure with in-depth local understanding? And certainly, its commitment to the community and society that surpasses just business objectives. Indeed, it is all of these and that’s how and why AIA Insurance has been recognised as the Best Life Insurance Company in Sri Lanka, for the fourth year.
Awarded by internationally acclaimed Capital Finance International for 2022, this is testimony to the significant contribution made by AIA to Sri Lanka’s life insurance industry in terms of its innovative and inclusive products and propositions, superlative customer experience, community investment initiatives and workforce empowerment.
Last year was no doubt a trying year for Sri Lanka with an unprecedented social and economic backdrop. Despite it being an economically challenging time for all businesses, AIA was determined to be there for Sri Lanka and her people when it was most needed. As such the company’s focus on societal endeavours took precedence. Be it renovating underprivileged schools and hospitals around the island or providing support to underprivileged and vulnerable children and elders, AIA’s priority was giving back to the community.
The company managed many societal endeavours during the last year, including projects with HelpAge Sri Lanka, SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Cancer Society, Lanka Alzheimer’s Foundation, Department of Probation and Childcare Services, not to forget AIA’s flagship CSR projects, the National Poson Safety Programme and Higher Education Scholarships, which are two of the longest standing projects in the country.
The company remained committed to enhancing the customer experience, while increasing efficiency and convenience through new and improved digitalized processes. As a company pioneering digital transformation in the industry, AIA has launched many industry firsts including a modern human centric point of sales (POS) solution, cloud-based workflow automation, robotic process automation, cloud-based strategy, remote digital signatures for customer onboarding and advanced analytics for intelligent decision making. AIA’s efforts towards going paperless has further established its green commitment while also ensuring faster, better connectivity with customers.
Boasting the highest calibre of agents, AIA’s sales force is part of the world’s #1 MDRT life insurer, that being AIA Group. With this strength, AIA’s team of sales professionals have world-class training, exposure and insights that help them deliver a superlative service to customers.
While providing protection to customers at every stage of their lives, AIA offers a wide range of retirement, health, protection and savings solutions for all Sri Lankans. The product suite is designed and enriched by not only an in-depth understanding of the needs of the local customer, but also an expertise acquired in over a hundred years of experience in Asia. The health space is yet another important area for AIA and the company is very active through not only products, but overall propositions, and stands as a firm pioneer in this space. As AIA embraces the brand promise of helping people live healthier, longer, better lives, its mission is to proactively enable and support its customers to be physically and mentally secure as well. Having partnered some of Sri Lanka’s most reputed wellness partners including Doc990, My Dentist, Vida Medical Clinic and Teardrop hotels, AIA is the only insurer in Sri Lanka to offer customers an eco-system of wellness propositions to help them stay active, healthy and happy.
Helping to stay healthy and happy is further extended to its employees as well, and the company earned the LEGEND title for been recognised as a Best Workplace in Sri Lanka for the tenth consecutive year. In 2022, the company was also adjudged one of the Best Workplaces for Women in Sri Lanka for the fifth straight year, by Great Place to Work® and as one of the Most Outstanding Women Friendly Workplaces by Satynmag.com and CIMA Sri Lanka. To top it all, AIA was also recognised as one of the top 10 Best Workplaces in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) industry in Sri Lanka last year.
Throughout it all, the company maintained its financial stability, despite the economic challenges and remained strongly capitalised with a shareholder’s equity of LKR 18.4 billion by end 2022, and one of the highest Capital Adequacy Ratios in the industry which amounted to 402% by end 2022. This demonstrated the ability of AIA to withstand risk and crisis in the operating environment and deliver their promise to customers consistently. This is supported by the company’s prudent investment strategy which focuses on high quality investments. AIA has always exceeded customer expectations and has a track record of over 30 years of delivering above the promised customer dividends.
All these combined has established AIA as a truly world-class company with deep and rooted local insights that help it go above and beyond life insurance, to be a partner, a friend, a family to its customers- and that is what makes AIA the best life insurance company in Sri Lanka.
Healthcare, Consumer and Agri propel Sunshine Holdings’ strong FY23 performance
Diversified Sri Lankan conglomerate Sunshine Holdings (CSE: SUN) recorded resilient revenue growth in a challenging macroeconomic environment, reporting notable top-line growth during the year ended 31 March 2023. Group’s Healthcare and Consumer sectors led growth while healthcare segment remained the major contributor to total Group revenue in FY23.
Sunshine recorded a consolidated Group revenue of Rs.51.9 billion for the year ended 31 March 2023, an increase of 61.3% over last year. Profit after tax (PAT) for the period in review was contracted by 28.0% to Rs. 3.6 billion. The gross profit improved by Rs.3.3 billion, up 31.9% YoY, compared to the previous year, driven by revenue growth. Gross profit margin for the period stood at 26.0%, a contraction of 580 basis points against the corresponding period last year.
The Group’s Healthcare business emerged as the largest contributor to Sunshine’s revenue, accounting for 46.1% of the total, while Consumer Goods and Agri Business sectors of the group contributed 36.6% and 16.9% respectively of the total Group revenue. The Group EBIT closed at Rs. 7 billion, an increase of 23.0% YoY.
Commenting on the results, Amal Cabraal, Chairman of Sunshine Holdings said, “The Group had to face and overcome tough economic factors and adverse market conditions which persisted throughout the year. These headwinds impacted some of the core sectors, and are expected to continue to do so in the short to medium term.”
However, Cabraal highlighted the Group’s commendable response to these challenges, adding, “Through robust cost management initiatives and process reengineering efforts, supported by the integration of digital technologies, Sunshine has delivered a strong performance in FY23. Despite the difficulties, the Group has displayed resilience, and takes an optimistic outlook on fortifying operations to further strengthen overall performance.”
Cabraal further emphasized that “Every possible measure has been taken to ensure business sustainability and continuity in the upcoming months.”
Healthcare sector recorded a revenue of Rs. 23.9 billion during FY23, a significant increase of 36.7% YoY backed by the improved performance in Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices and Manufacturing segments. EBIT for the sector was Rs. 3.0 billion with PAT of the sector increased by 13% YoY. Lina Manufacturing, the pharma manufacturing business, commenced commercial operations in the Metered Dose Inhalers (MDI) plant in July 2022, which was a significant milestone for the business.
Consumer Goods sector reported a 135.6% YoY increase in revenue to close at Rs. 19 billion in FY23. The revenue increase was predominantly driven by the addition of export business. The consumer brands Zesta, Watawala, Ran Kahata and Daintee continued to grow market shares, despite challenging consumer sentiment.
Agribusiness sector revenue increased by 35.4% YoY during FY21/22 to Rs. 8.8 billion, driven by the increase in palm oil NSA. PAT of the Agri sector closed at Rs. 2.3 billion for FY21/22, down by 33.6%.
ADB budget support loan doesn’t elicit positive response from bourse
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
The CSE did not react positively yesterday to the Asian Development Bank’s approval of a US$ 350 million loan as budget support, as part of Sri Lanka’s economic stabilization program, together with the rupee’s appreciation against the dollar, market analysts said.
“The ABD is supporting a series of policy reforms which are required to stabilize the economy and to spur growth. Budget support loans ease cash flows of the government and do not involve imports of goods. This has created some limbo for investors, market analysts said.
Consequently, shares edged- down in mid- day trade and ended on a negative note. The main All- Share Price Index was down by 118.97 points, while the most liquid index S&P SL20 was also down by 41.3 points.
Turnover stood at Rs 516 million without any crossings. In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Dialog Axiata Rs 73.7 million (7.2 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 54.42 million (426,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 51.7 million (382,000 shares traded), Prime Lands Residencies Rs 25.1 million (3.11 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 21.3 million (4.3 million shares traded), Hemas Holdings Rs 18.8 million (298,000 shares traded) and Elpitiya Plantations Rs 16.2 million (164,000 shares traded). During the day 38.3 million share volumes changed hands in 11000 transactions.
The rupee opened at Rs 296.50 /297.50 against the US dollar in the spot market yesterday, while bond yields were up, dealers said. The rupee closed at Rs 296.00 /297.50 to the US dollar on Friday after opening at around Rs 302.80/303.10.
Sri Lanka’s rupee is appreciating amid negative private credit which has reduced outflows after the central bank hiked rates and stopped printing money.
In the first year of an IMF program, a pegged central bank usually collects reserves and mops up liquidity generated from the purchases or there is a balance of payments surplus.
HNB reopens Student Savings Unit at St. Joseph’s College
Reaffirming its commitment to fostering financial literacy among students, Sri Lanka’s leading private sector bank HNB PLC, announced the reopening of its Student Savings unit at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo.
The reopening comes as part of the bank’s continued efforts to instil the habit of saving among young minds. The event was graced by the esteemed presence of St. Joseph’s College Rector, Rev. Fr. Ranjith Andradi, and the Managing Director/CEO of HNB, Jonathan Alles, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Dilshan Rodrigo who are distinguished past pupils of the College, along with Deputy General Manager- Retail and SME Banking Sanjay Wijemanne, Assistant General Manager, Network Management and Business Development Supun Dias and Head Office Branch Chief Manager, Dilanka De Silva.
During the ceremony HNB Managing Director/CEO, Jonathan Alles expressed his delight, stating, “We are extremely pleased to be a part of this momentous occasion, celebrating the reopening of the Student Savings Unit at St. Joseph’s College. Through this Unit, we aim to empower students with a deeper understanding of saving and the value of living within their means. By developing this essential life skill, students will be well prepared to fund their higher education and make other important investments in the future.”
The Unit will mainly offer student access to the wide range of savings products and investment plans available for minors. Moreover, the bank aims to create a digital payment ecosystem for the school also offering members of the staff and the Old Boys Association with exceptional services and benefits.
St. Joseph’s College Rector Rev. Fr. Ranjith Andradi, expressing his pride in the partnership, stated: “We are proud to be associated with HNB in reopening the Student Savings Unit. This initiative not only imparts valuable lessons in investing and saving but also instils a strong sense of financial management in our students. We believe this partnership will contribute to their progress and success.”
The Student Savings Unit, introduced by HNB in 1994, has played a pivotal role in promoting financial literacy among students. With 162 units established across Sri Lanka, HNB actively engages students in managing mini-banks within their schools, fostering leadership and financial responsibility. Each year, HNB provides comprehensive training to over 1,000 students, empowering them to become financially savvy individuals.
HNB is rated A (lka) by Fitch Ratings and was awarded the esteemed title of ‘Sri Lanka’s Best Corporate Citizen’ for 2022 by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Other major accolades include being ranked among the Top 1,000 Banks in the World for six consecutive years by the acclaimed UK based “The Banker Magazine”, being adjudged the ‘Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka’ for the 13th occasion by the Asian Banker, as well as securing a Top 5 position on Business Today’s Top 40 rankings for 2022.
Navy divers retrieve 148 from watery graves within a year
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