's first-quarter net profit dropped 55.1% year over year,mainly due to lower investment income and higher operating expenses during theperiod.
The company'sconsolidated net profit attributable to equity holders dropped to 2.20 billionyuan from 4.90 billion yuan in the prior-year period. EPS fell to 24 fen from54 fen.
Operatingincome for the quarter rose to 83.44 billion yuan from 73.76 billion yuan. Thegroup's net premiums earned jumped to 72.36 billion yuan from 57.43 billionyuan in the prior-year period, while gross written premiums increased to 78.22billion yuan from 62.34 billion yuan.
However,investment income declined to 11.17 billion yuan from 15.17 billion yuan in theprior-year period.
Operatingexpenses surged year over year to 80.25 billion yuan from 66.74 billion yuan.Operating profit for the quarter ended March 31 declined to 3.19 billion yuanfrom 7.02 billion yuan in the first quarter of 2015.
As of April 28, US$1 wasequivalent to 6.48 Chinese yuan.