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

 

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Embrace Falling Home Affordability, Says NZIER

Despair over the inability to afford a house is misplaced and should be embraced as an opportunity to invest in more wealth-creating activity, says the principal economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Shamubeel Eaqub. More>>

Productivity Commission: NZ Regulation Not Keeping Pace

New Zealand regulators often have to work with out-of-date legislation, quality checks are under strain, and regulatory workers need better training and development. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

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