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

 


Suncorp's NZ insurance assets deliver strong growth

Suncorp's NZ insurance assets deliver strong growth

By Pattrick Smellie

Aug. 13 (BusinessDesk) - Brisbane-based general and life insurer Suncorp recorded stronger investment returns and earnings growth from its New Zealand units, Vero and AA Insurance, than from its Australian business lines in the year to June 30, boosted in part by the strength of the kiwi dollar and its impact on translation into the Australian parent's results.

Suncorp declared a full year profit after tax of A$730 million, including a one-off non-cash write-down on intangible assets of A$496 million, with the New Zealand insurance trading result rising 20.3 percent to A$89 million, although the increase in New Zealand dollar terms was a more modest 6.6 percent, to NZ$97 million. The improved result excludes previous years' travel insurance trading results, as Suncorp withdrew from New Zealand travel insurance in the last financial year.

The company also disclosed an additional A$35 million in provisioning at group level for claims arising from the Canterbury earthquakes, although it expects almost all claims relating to the 2010 and 2011 events to be finalised by the end of this calendar year, with building work to be completed through 2015.

In the year under review, general insurance claims from New Zealand totalled just A$46 million from total claims of A$538 million across Australasia, with storms in September and April the main sources of claims. However, the loss ratio in New Zealand increased to 57.6 percent from 55.8 percent the year before, with natural hazard expenses A$26 million higher than was allowed for.

Total net incurred claims across all product lines were up 18.2 percent at NZ$564 million, while "other underwriting expenses" were up 19.8 percent at $NZ97 million.

Growth in premium income came mainly from rate increases and "significant growth in personal line units", while reduced customer acquisition costs also helped the kiwi unit's bottom line, with operating expenses falling from 35.3 percent to 33.4 percent of revenue.

"Vero and AA Insurance are well placed to continue to compete and grow at or above system, particularly in the personal lines market," the company's profit presentation notes say. "Underlying margin has continued to improve and will continue as benefits from simplification projects and improved operational efficiency are realised", using systems already implemented in Suncorp's Australian operations.

Gross written premiums across all products rose 20.8 percent for the New Zealand unit, at A$1.14 billion, although in New Zealand dollar terms the increase to NZ$1.26 billion was a 6.9 percent rise.

Life insurance premium income in New Zealand totalled A$182 million (NZ$200 million), up 22 percent in Australian dollar terms from a year earlier.

Investment returns were stronger across all asset classes - cash, fixed interest, and Australasian and international equities, and property - to deliver a 3.5 percent net investment return, compared with 3.3 percent from Australian investment operations.

The ASX-listed shares last traded at A$14.12, and have gained 7.8 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Fossils: Ancient Penguins Lived Alongside Dinosaurs?

Penguins are much older than previously thought and their evolution probably dates back to the days of the dinosaurs, according to research on the fossilised leg bone and toes of a giant ancient penguin found in rocks near Waipara, North Canterbury. More>>

No Voda/Sky: Commission Declines Clearance For Merger

The Commerce Commission has declined to grant clearance for the proposed merger of Sky Network Television and Vodafone New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Power: IEA Report On New Zealand's Energy System

Outside of its largely low-carbon power sector, managing the economy’s energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions while still remaining competitive and growing remains a challenge. More>>

ALSO:

NASA: Seven Earth-Size Planets Around A Single Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Transport Case: Men Guilty Of Corruption And Bribery Will Spend Time In Jail

Two men who were found guilty of corruption and bribery in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) trial have been sentenced in the Auckland High Court today... The pair are guilty of corruption and bribery offences relating to more than $1 million of bribes which took place between 2005 and 2013 at Rodney District Council and Auckland Transport. More>>

ALSO:

Hager Raid: Westpac Wrong To Release Bank Records To Police

The Privacy Commissioner has censured Westpac Banking Corp for releasing without a court order more than 10 months of bank records belonging to the political activist and journalist Nicky Hager during a police investigation into leaked information published in Hager's 2014 pre-election book, 'Dirty Politics'. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news