Hong Kong-based insurer AIA Group has posted a net profit of $2.25bn in the first half of 2023, a surge of 50% compared with $1.54bn in the year-ago period.

The company attributed the surge in profit to mark-to-market movements from equity and real estate investments supporting non-participating business as well as shareholder surplus.

For the six-month period ended 30 June 2023, operating profit after tax (OPAT) was $3.27bn, up 0.2% from $3.35bn a year ago.

The group’s value of new business (VONB) increased by 37% to $2.02bn from $1.53bn in the first half of 2022.

Diluted earnings per share rose 56% to $19.37 from $12.81 a year ago.

The annualised new premiums (ANP) were $3.9bn, up 49% compared with $2.77bn in the first half of 2022.

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The company declared a dividend of HK$42.29 cents per share (cps) for the period, up 5% from HK$40.28 cents per share last year.

AIA also revealed that it has a free surplus of $16.3bn at the end of H1 2023, which the company plans to invest in organic fresh business growth, execute inorganic growth initiatives and cushion the impact of capital market stress conditions.

AIA Group CEO and president Li Yuanxiang said: “We have seen our business return to strong and sustainable growth in the first half of 2023 and all of our reportable segments and all distribution channels delivered higher VONB.

“With the pandemic disruption behind us, the strength of AIA’s unrivalled distribution platform across Asia has powered a return to very strong new business momentum, including double-digit VONB growth from AIA China, our combined ASEAN business and Tata AIA Life, our joint venture in India.

“AIA Hong Kong more than doubled VONB compared to the first half of 2022, driven by substantial business from Mainland Chinese visitors.”