South Korea: Samsung Life's Q1 net profit drops

| 16 May 2022

Samsung Life Insurance Co, the country's top life insurer, has reported a 72.9% plunge in its first-quarter net profit due to losses from its variable life insurance business amid recent stock market volatility.

Net income amounted to 302.2 billion won (US$235.7 million) in the January-March period on a consolidated basis, compared with a profit of 1.1 trillion won tallied a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing. 

Operating profit also plunged 75.7% on-year to 323.8 billion won, with sales declining 7% to 9.3 trillion won. 

The lackluster earnings were attributed partly to larger losses stemming from guaranteeing variable life insurance products highly exposed to the ups and downs in securities markets. 

The company saw the losses grow by 213 billion won compared with a year earlier. 

Stock markets, in general, have suffered volatility recently driven by inflation woes and aggressive monetary tightening by major economies, including the US. 

Shares of Samsung Life Insurance were trading up 2.68% from the previous session as of 10:19 a.m. on Seoul's main bourse, outperforming the broader KOSPI's 1.45% rise

Meanwhile, Samsung Life Insurance’s sister company, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co has said its first-quarter earnings decreased 5.2% from a year ago due to a higher base effect.

Net income came to 409 billion won in the January-March period, down from a net profit of 432 billion won a year earlier, it said in a regulatory filing.

The decline was attributable to non-regular dividend income from Samsung Electronics Co in the first quarter of last year. 

Operating income decreased 1.7% on-year to 585 billion won and insurance premiums from policyholders stood at 4.88 trillion won, up 0.7% from a year earlier.

The loss rate for car insurance dropped 5.4 percentage points on-year to 74.5%, as the country's COVID-19 curbs led to fewer accidents.

Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance are subsidiaries of Samsung Group, South Korea's largest family-controlled conglomerate, according to Yonhap.