Welcome!

News Feed Item

Innovative behaviour-based model drives global Discovery growth

- Normalised profit from operations up 23% to USD 477.1 million

JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Limited Group Chief Executive, Adrian Gore, today presented the Group's annual financial results for the year ended 30 June 2014.  Discovery posted normalised profit from operations of USD 477.1 million, a 23% increase from the previous year – a figure driven strongly by new business growth of 15% to USD 1 169.3 million.

Discovery Logo

Gore commented, "The past financial year marked a period of strong performance for Discovery. There has been intense activity across our primary market in South Africa, our second primary market in the UK as well as our partner markets in China, the US, Singapore, and Australia. More importantly, we have done considerable work in refining the Discovery behaviour-based insurance model, which gears Discovery to address some of today's most critical societal problems in an innovative way."

In a difficult economic environment, Discovery's business model and strategy continue to deliver positive financial results, an aspect which Gore attributes to the responsiveness of the business model to a complex macro-economic environment. He continued to explain that consumers globally are expecting companies to play a socially-progressive role where the bottom line is not the only driving force of a company's actions. Given this increasing trend, insurance companies are well placed to meet this expectation, given their large risk pools and mandate to provide protection for life's uncertainties and risks.  Importantly, many of these insurance risks are driven by member behaviour, which can be changed through tools and incentives.

Gore commented, "Discovery's business model is a powerful asset as it enables a composite view of a client's risk behaviour, which can include their nutrition and exercise habits, as well as their driving behaviour. By rewarding better behaviour, the actuarial dynamics improve considerably, resulting in savings across the business. These resultant risk savings are channeled back to the incentives required to deliver the positive behaviour change that ultimately are of equal benefit to our client."

The outcome is excellent member receptivity in all markets: favourable claims and lapse trends across all businesses; volume and revenue uplift for wellness and reward partners across Vitality, DiscoveryCard, and Discovery Insure; and a positive impact on healthcare costs, life expectancy, and road safety.

In Discovery's primary market of South Africa, Discovery Health's performance exceeded expectation with operating profit increasing 10% to USD 177.8 million, after continued efficiencies were passed onto Discovery Health Medical Scheme through a planned scale-related reduction in administration fees. In addition, Discovery Health new business increased 4% to USD 479.4 million; and lives under management for all schemes grew to 2.9 million.

Discovery Life demonstrated exceptional operating profit growth of 23% to USD 248.4 million over the period driven by new business growth of 6% to USD 193.0 million, better-than-expected claims and lapse results, improved renewal efficiencies, and disciplined expense control. Experience variances were positive by USD 54.8 million and the business generated USD 40.5 million in cash over the period, before allowing for the repayment of financial reinsurance.

Gore commented, "Discovery Life's performance further validates the efficacy of the model, and its unique shared value attributes. The model not only creates value for clients as they experience better value for money and policyholder returns, but the insurer benefits from superior actuarial dynamics and higher profit margins. This is the basis for successfully exporting the model to the UK and Asia."

Discovery's savings and investments arm Discovery Invest delivered a better-than-expected set of results with operating profit increasing 50% to USD 31.7 million, driven by the high growth of products sold and strong performance of the market. Assets under management increased to USD 4 billion, with new business API increasing by 30% to USD 133.8 million.

Discovery Insure has been one of the stand-out performers for Discovery over the past year; quickly developing into one of the fastest-growing short-term insurers in South Africa. New business was exceptional with 73% growth to USD 60.6 million and despite this growth, the business has contained the loss ratio and lapse rates. "Discovery's behaviour-based insurance model in short-term insurance is demonstrating the desired linkages between incentives and behaviour change, and creating further unique and innovative big data pathways to protect members and their assets," says Gore.

In partnership with US-based Cambridge Mobile Telematics, Discovery Insure launched a ground-breaking smartphone solution to accurately monitor complex driver behaviour at a granular level, and encourage safer driving in an intuitive, cost effective, and member-friendly way.

In Discovery's second primary market of the United Kingdom, the joint businesses of PruHealth and PruProtect delivered a combined operating profit of USD 60.2 million, up 33% from the previous period; new business growth of 35% to USD 204.1 million; and a combined member base of close to 800,000.

Gore said of the UK business, "The scale and relevance of Discovery's UK businesses reflect our vision to build an exemplar of the SA model and assets, manifesting in the best protection business in the UK. We have done considerable work to further build a strong foundation in the UK in terms of product design, the distribution network across direct and intermediary channels, an investment in the client journey and lastly, building the Vitality brand."

In the partner markets of China, US, Singapore, and Australia where Discovery has joint ventures with leading insurers, the company continued its investment in product development, building out the sales and distribution capabilities and marketing initiatives. Ping An Health entrenched its position as the largest and fastest-growing health insurer in China with an expanded individual product range, an enhanced service to brokers and clients, and leveraging both internal and external distribution channels. This resulted in excellent new business growth of 119% to USD 32.5 million. Gore commented, "We are starting to see the growth of a new product category in China with many members being first-time purchasers of a comprehensive private health insurance product.  The work done by Ping An Health over the past year positions the company well to grow this potential market."

In the US and Asia, Discovery invested in further developing the structure of Vitality. In the US, The Vitality Group is increasingly being acknowledged as the top wellness provider. Key developments included product and benefit enhancements, new Vitality partners, the strengthening of The Vitality Group's sales and distribution capability, and superior levels of members' engagement compared to industry.

Concluding with comments on Discovery's youngest partnership, a joint venture with insurance giant AIA in Singapore and Australia, Gore said, "AIA Vitality's early data illustrates the relevance of Discovery's business model to the Asian market where the products have gained instant recognition as being leading risk products, as judged by both the industry and intermediaries."

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140903/142506

SOURCE Discovery Limited (DSY)

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
In his session at DevOps Summit, Tapabrata Pal, Director of Enterprise Architecture at Capital One, will tell a story about how Capital One has embraced Agile and DevOps Security practices across the Enterprise – driven by Enterprise Architecture; bringing in Development, Operations and Information Security organizations together. Capital Ones DevOpsSec practice is based upon three "pillars" – Shift-Left, Automate Everything, Dashboard Everything. Within about three years, from 100% waterfall, C...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Addteq will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Addteq is one of the top 10 Platinum Atlassian Experts who specialize in DevOps, custom and continuous integration, automation, plugin development, and consulting for midsize and global firms. Addteq firmly believes that automation is essential for successful software releases. Addteq centers its products an...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Updating DevOps to the latest production data slows down your development cycle. Probably it is due to slow, inefficient conventional storage and associated copy data management practices. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in Product and Solution at Tintri, will talk about DevOps and cloud-focused storage to update hundreds of child VMs (different flavors) with updates from a master VM in minutes, saving hours or even days in each development cycle. He will also...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...