Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Feb 04, 2015 • 09:00 am ET
Welcome to the Aflac's Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. Your lines have been placed on listen-only until the question-and-answer session. Please be advised today's conference is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the call over to Ms. Robin Wilkey, Senior Vice President of Aflac Investor and Rating Agency Relations. You may begin.
Robin Y. Wilkey
Thank you and good morning. Welcome to our fourth quarter call. Joining me this morning is Dan Amos, Chairman and CEO; Kriss Cloninger, President and CFO; Ken Janke, President of Aflac U.S., Executive Vice President, and Deputy CFO of Aflac Incorporated; Eric Kirsch, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Investment Officer, and also joining us from Tokyo are Paul Amos, President of Aflac and Hiroshi Yamauchi, President and COO of Aflac, Japan.
Before we start, let me remind you that some of the statements in this teleconference are forward-looking within the meaning of Federal Securities laws. Although, we believe these statements are reasonable, we give no assurance that they will prove to be accurate, because they are prospective in nature. Actual results could differ materially from those we discussed today. We encourage you to look at our fourth quarter release for some of the various risk factors that can materially impact our results.
Now, I'll turn the program over to Dan, who will begin this morning with some comments about the quarter and year as well as our operations in Japan. I will follow up and then we will take your questions afterwards. Dan?
Daniel P. Amos
Thanks Robin. Good morning and thank you for joining us. Let me start off by saying that the final quarter of 2014 concluded another good year for Aflac. I am excited about the incredibly strong fourth quarter sales results in both the United States and Japan and on top of that we have finished the year at the high end of our expectations for operating earnings per share growth.
Let me begin with some highlights related to the Japanese operations. Aflac Japan's impressive 28.5% increase in third sector sales in the final quarter of 2014 is particularly remarkable to me considering
Daniel P. Amos
significant growth follows two years of excellent sales results in the fourth quarter. Sales of cancer insurance surged following the launch of the New Cancer DAYS [ph] product, which also included an exclusive product sold by Japan Post. Cancer insurance sales through all distribution outlets were up an outstanding 176% for the quarter. This dramatic increase in cancer insurance sales was critical to Aflac Japan reaching the high end of the 2% to 7% annual target.On the distribution side, our traditional agencies have been and remain key to our success.
Additionally, I consider our strategic alliance with Japan Post to be enormously advantageous. This alliance merges the broad consumer access of Japan Post with Japan Aflac's status of an industry leader of cancer insurance. Tremendous progress has been made in increasing the number of postal outlets that offer our cancer insurance to our customers. I would remind you that Japan Post has