Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


IAG gains in NZ, confident of approval for Wesfarmer’s buy

IAG gains in NZ, confident of approval for Wesfarmer’s takeover

By Suze Metherell

Feb. 20 (BusinessDesk) – Insurance Australia Group, New Zealand’s largest general insurer, reported a 75 percent gain in its kiwi operations for the first-half, as the company expects to finalise the purchase of Wesfarmers’ insurance underwriting business by the second quarter of 2014.

Earnings for the division was A$93 million for the six months ended Dec. 31, up from A$53 million in the same period a year earlier, the insurer said in a statement. IAG had an 18 percent gain in its gross written premium (GWP) revenue to A$884 million. The division’s insurance margin was 12.4 percent, up from 8.3 percent a year earlier

The Australian owned company, which trades in New Zealand under the State, NZI and AMI brands, is waiting for clearance from Australasian antitrust regulators to buy Wesfarmers’ WFI and Lumley Insurance brands.

Full-year forecasts didn’t assume a contribution from Wesfarmers acquisitions, but “it remains the group’s expectation that the related transaction will be completed in the second quarter of calendar 2014, subject to regulatory approvals.”

IAG expects that GWP will grow at a slower pace in the second-half due to increased competition, although underlying profit will remain steady due to the integration of AMI and stronger earnings generated from significant premium increases over the previous years.

The insurer said it had settled 51 percent of all Canterbury earthquakes claims, worth more than NZ$2.7 billion in the first-half, up from NZ$2.2 billion for the same period a year earlier. Finalisation of commercial claims was close to 80 percent settled. Of residential claims, 70 percent were either underway or settled.

Total reported expenses in IAG’s New Zealand business rose 32 percent to A$229 million in the first-half, in part amplified by the high value of the kiwi against the Australian dollar. Reinsurance expenses were up 24 percent to $140 million, reflecting higher cover costs since the Canterbury earthquakes and increased regulatory requirements.

The Australian parent saw a 7 percent decline in first half earnings, dropping to A$758 million, with its insurance margin at 17.5 percent from 19.9 percent a year earlier. The margin reflects net natural peril claim costs of A$335 million, A$200 million higher than the 2013 comparable period owing to New South Wales bushfires and hail storms and Queensland floods.

(BusinessDesk)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Fruit & Veg Crackdown: Auckland Fruit Fly Find Under Investigation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn... MPI has placed legal controls on the movement of fruit and some vegetables outside of a defined circular area which extends 1.5km from where the fly was trapped in Grey Lynn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Westpac NZ Reaches $2.97M Swaps Settlement

Westpac Banking Corp’s New Zealand unit has agreed to pay $2.97 million in a settlement with the Commerce Commission over the way the bank sold interest rate swaps to farmers between 2005 and 2012. More>>

ALSO:

Going Dutch: Fonterra Kicks Off $144M Partnership With Dutch Cheese Maker

Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world’s largest dairy exporter, has commissioned a new dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen, in the north of the Netherlands, its first wholly-owned and operated ingredients plant in Europe. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Retail Sales Beat Estimates

New Zealand retail sales rose more than expected in the fourth quarter, led by vehicle-related transactions, food and beverages, adding to evidence that cheap credit and a growing jobs market are encouraging consumers to spend. More>>

ALSO:

Delivery Cuts Go Ahead: 'Government Money Grab' From NZ Post

"It's a money grab by the Government as the shareholder of New Zealand Post" says Postal Workers Union advocate Graeme Clarke about the changes announced by NZ Post. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news