India's HDFC Life Insurance Co Ltd reported a smaller-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, as higher expenses more than offset the rise in income from premiums.
The Mumbai-based insurer said its standalone profit after tax rose a marginal 0.3% to Rs 359 crore for the quarter ended March 31.
Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of Rs 373 crore, as per Refinitiv IBES data.
The sale of pricier policies jumped in March after the government said it would withdraw tax incentives on such policies issued from April. That contributed to a 35.9% rise in net premium income to Rs 194,27 crore.
The government said it would now tax the total returns on the maturity of life insurance policies if the aggregate premium topped Rs 500,000 a year.
However, ballooning expenses offset this rise in income.
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Management expenses, which include net commission and other operating expenses related to the insurance business, jumped 65.9%, driven mainly by higher marketing and business development expenses, the company said.
The insurer's net income from investments also fell 15% to Rs 1,190 crore.
The company's value of new business, which measures expected profit from new premiums and is a key gauge for growth, was up 36.9% following the merger with Exide Life Insurance, completed in the previous quarter.
Shares of HDFC Life closed 0.4% higher to Rs 531.6 ahead of the results.
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HDFC Life Insur.