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Business News/ Companies / Company Results/  LIC sells fewer policies but records higher net profit of 40,676 crore in FY24
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LIC sells fewer policies but records higher net profit of ₹40,676 crore in FY24

LIC maintains its dominant position in the Indian life insurance sector, boasting an impressive 58.87% share of the First Year Premium Income (FYPI).

LIC said it will pay its shareholders a dividend of ₹6 for every share held for FY24.Premium
LIC said it will pay its shareholders a dividend of 6 for every share held for FY24.

MUMBAI:The country’s largest and only state-run life insurer, Life Insurance Corp. Of India (LIC), sold fewer policies in the just-concluded fiscal than the previous one, took a hit on its core earnings from first-year premium, yet managed to earn a 12% rise in annual profit.

On Monday evening, LIC revealed that it recorded net profit of 40,676 crore in FY24 compared to 36,397 crore in FY23, on the back of higher income from renewal premium (one earned from existing policies that are older than 12 months), better income from investment activities, and a slight increase in value of new business (VNB). The company said it will pay its shareholders a dividend of 6 for every share held for the financial year 2024.

At the same time, the insurer, which is grappling with an erosion of market share in the face of growing competition from private peers, said it sold 20.39 million policies in FY24, marginally fewer than the 20.43 million covers sold in the previous fiscal.

Also read: Q4 Results Today: LIC, Natco Pharma, NMDC, Goodyear India, IFB Ind, AstraZeneca among 303 companies to post earnings

It also saw a 5.48% year-on-year (y-o-y) drop in total premium income from group businesses (policies sold to a group of individuals) at 1.71 trillion in FY24 that ended on 31 March, compared to 1.81 trillion in FY23. In the individual segment, too, LIC’s new business premium income fell 1.77% y-o-y to 57,716 crore in FY24.

“Despite lower incomes from new businesses, we earned more from renewal businesses, our investments and increasing VNB, which has helped us in earning better net profits this year," a top LIC official said on a call after the earnings were announced on Monday.

LIC’s net value of new business (the present value of the future profits from the sales of new policies during the year) grew by 4.66% to 9,583 crore in FY24. The net VNB margin for the year ended 31 March increased by 60 bps to16.8%.

“VNB margin is a directional change we had envisaged during listing. We are moving towards non-par, which has higher VNB margins. We introduced non-par products last year. For the ongoing fiscal year, VNB margin can be expected to improve," another LIC official said during the earnings call on Monday.

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Also, the insurer’s total premium income for fiscal 2024 grew, albeit by a meagre 0.22% y-o-y, to 4.75 trillion.

Apart from being able to sell fewer policies, LIC’s first-year premium fell by 4.04% during the fiscal 2024, while private insurers recorded a jump of 12.11% in new business at 1.55 trillion during the same period, according to data from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai).

Consequently, the insurer’s market share was at 58.87%, lower than the 62.58% at the end of FY23.

Looking ahead

“Now we intend to focus our strategic interventions to maximize our market share across categories," said Siddhartha Mohanty, chairman, LIC.

Mohanty said during FY2024 LIC focused on directional changes in its product mix and enhancing margins in the business.

The LIC chairman said the insurer has doubled its share of non-par business within the individual business segment.

However, participating businesses continue to constitute a major portion of LIC’s product portfolio.

Also read Opportunity cost vs premium loss: When to surrender your policies

During a call after the earnings on Monday, Mohanty said that during fiscal 2025, the insurer will continue to focus on increasing its VNB margin and the proportion of non-participating policies.

Also, the LIC officials said that in the country, the market share of big-ticket size policies (above 5 lakh premium) has gone up during fiscal 2024.

During fiscal 2024, LIC transferred 29,518.75 crore from the available solvency margin amount from non-participating policyholders account to shareholders’ account.

However, LIC’s solvency ratio at 1.98 is still above the regulatory requirement and higher than 1.87 at the end of FY2023.

Also read Insurers to reveal number of insurance claims pending and disposed of: IRDAI

LIC’s net cash flow from operating activities during fiscal 2024 has come down to 26,121.65 crore from 54,518.51 crore in FY23, and this is likely to be due to higher payments of claims and benefits at 3.93 trillion in FY24 as compared to 3.5 trillion in FY23.

LIC has paid a bonus of 52,956 crore to participating policyholders (policies in which customers get a share of the profits made) during fiscal 2024, said Mohanty.

However, at the end of fiscal 2024, LIC recorded a shrink in its cash and cash equivalents to 42,013.83 crore compared to 45,588.14 crore in FY23.

“We look forward to this current year as the one in which our topline growth trajectory will be back in focus," added Mohanty.

LIC's embedded value increased by 24.9% to 7.27 trillion at the end of FY24 as compared to 5.82 trillion at the end of FY23.

Before the earnings were announced, LIC's shares closed up 0.58% at 1,035.80 on BSE on Monday amid a flat equity market.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anirudh Laskar
Anirudh reports on significant corporate matters including large mergers and acquisitions, India's emerging e-commerce sector and regulatory issues in the corporate and financial services industry. Over the past 17 years, he has covered many beats including banking, NBFCs, aviation, automobile, insurance, markets, SEBI, IRDAI, mutual funds, investment banking, private equity, deals, and conglomerates.
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Published: 27 May 2024, 07:37 PM IST
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