One of the world’s biggest insurers by market value, Ping An, experienced its largest profit drop in over a decade in 2021 due to blows from weakened property developments and Covid-dented demand, reports the Financial Times. The company released annual results on Thursday describing “complex and severe” external conditions that had held back sales, as it posted a fall in group net profit to RMB 101 billion ($16 billion), from RMB 143 billion in 2020—the 29% fall was its worst since 2008, according to Capital IQ data.
The weaker operating performance was most evident in the life and health division, where Ping An blamed the resurgence of Covid-19 for “changes in customer demands and increased caution over consumption, making critical illness insurance products harder to sell.”
Net profits were further dented by impairments taken against its exposure to troubled property developer China Fortune Land Development. That shaved RMB 24.3 billion off annual net profits attributable to shareholders.