"Against this backdrop, during the first quarter of 2013, our total net revenues were up 18.9% year-on-year, beating our previous guidance, while gross margin declined. Revenue growth was largely attributable to volume growth in our claims adjusting and P&C businesses, as well as a further increase in commission rate for auto insurance due to intensified competition in the auto insurance market. These higher commission rates also directly squeezed our gross margin. In our life insurance segment, new policy sales continued to drop year-on-year, but at a slower pace as compared to the previous quarter, with net revenues derived from life insurance flat compared with the previous year, benefiting from our continued high persistency ratio. We believe that our high persistency ratio is a reflection of our high service levels and a defendable competitive advantage which will pay off as the life insurance business rebounds.
"The financial results for the first quarter of 2013 also reflect a key decision made by management during the Company's strategic transformation. In view of the continuing increases in the commission costs of our P&C business and the growth slowdown of our life insurance business, we have decided to focus resources on developing our e-commerce business and strengthening our ability to offer comprehensive financial products and services which we believe will become our new growth engines. However, before these two areas start to make meaningful contribution, it is crucial for us to keep the stability of our organization, sales team and operation, maintain our bargain power and safeguard our market position, in order to pave the way for a successful transition to these new areas of focus.
"We are encouraged by the achievements we made on these two initiatives during the first quarter of 2013. We are continuing the pilot of the CNpad, the workstation for our proprietary mobile sales support system, which contributed over RMB19 million insurance premiums during the first quarter of 2013. In addition, we distributed over RMB190 million worth of wealth management products during the first quarter of 2013.
Check Out Our Best Services for Investors
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Model portfolio
- Stocks trading below $10
- Intraday trade alerts