Seoul (South Korea), May 13: Samsung Life Insurance Co., South Korea's top life insurer, on Friday reported its first-quarter net profit plunged 72.9 percent due to losses from its variable life insurance business amid recent stock market volatility.
Net income amounted to 302.2 billion won (US$234.5 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 percent on-year to 323.8 billion won, with sales declining 7 percent 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 particular, have suffered volatility recently driven by inflation woes and aggressive monetary tightening by major economies, including the United States.
Meanwhile, Samsung Life Insurance, the insurance arm of Samsung Group, said its assets stood at 328.1 trillion won as of the end of March.
The insurance firm also said its risk-based capital (RBC) ratio -- the actual solvency capital divided by the minimum solvency capital required -- stood at 246 percent, which was among the highest among its peers.
The figure was higher than 150 percent or more recommended by local financial authorities.
Shares of Samsung Life Insurance were trading up 2.68 percent from the previous session as of 10:19 a.m. on Seoul's main bourse, outperforming the broader KOSPI's 1.45 percent rise.