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AIA annual net profit jumps 89 percent

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Asian insurance giant AIA said Wednesday its net profit for the year rocketed almost 90 percent, building on growth from previous years despite a challenging economic environment.

Hong Kong-listed AIA said net profit for the year ended November 30 jumped to $3.02 billion from $1.60 billion last year.

New business, a key performance measure for profitability, grew by 27 percent to $1.19 billion, up from $932 million.

"AIA's ability to achieve growth of this magnitude against the challenging global macro-economic background... demonstrates the resilience of our strategy and the quality of AIA's franchise and business model," the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

"Our exclusive focus on the region means that we have the ability to better understand the needs of our customers on the ground and are able to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the fast-growing markets in which we operate.

"We have built the momentum: there is a lot more to come."

The company was formerly owned by US insurer American International Group (AIG), which was bailed out by Washington during the financial crisis and sold its remaining AIA shares last December, raising $6.45 billion.

AIG sold two-thirds of the unit in a Hong Kong listing in 2010 to help repay the financial aid.

AIA in October bought Dutch banking firm ING's Malaysian insurance unit and in December took over Sri Lankan insurer Aviva NDB Insurance. The firm, which operates in 14 Asia-Pacific markets, raised $20.5 billion in an initial public offering in 2010.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130227/aia-annual-net-profit-jumps-89-percent