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Suncorp New Zealand reports strong half year result

Suncorp Group Limited (Suncorp) today announced net profit after tax of A$452 million for the six months to 31 December 2017.

The New Zealand business achieved a profit after tax of $67 million, an improvement of 81 per cent on the prior corresponding period.

Suncorp New Zealand CEO Paul Smeaton said the improved result was due to a number of factors including strong growth and the absence of any major disasters which impacted the prior year’s earthquake-affected result.

The general insurance business, which includes Vero Insurance and AA Insurance (a joint venture with the New Zealand Automobile Association) delivered profit after tax of $50 million, with premium increases, strong unit growth, and strong claims management offsetting the impacts of increased reinsurance premiums and claims cost inflation, particularly in the motor insurance business.

The life insurance business, which includes Asteron Life and AA Life (a joint venture with the New Zealand Automobile Association) delivered profit after tax of $17 million, down $1 million on the prior corresponding period, due to short term volatility in experience with prior year favourable experience reversing over the half. In-force premium grew 5%, driven by new business and policy retention.

Paul Smeaton said Suncorp New Zealand continued to focus on building a more resilient business to meet the needs of its customers and business partners.

“We expect the business to continue to grow, through new business and the pricing responses we have had to implement to manage increased claims costs and reinsurance pricing increases.

“At the same time, we are focused on managing our operating expenses and strong claims management, through initiatives such as SMART vehicle repair centres.

Mr Smeaton said Suncorp New Zealand was well positioned to deliver a strong second half, and deliver on its strategy, including initiatives to further digitise the business.

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