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Suncorp New Zealand announces 2019 half year results

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Suncorp Group Limited today announced net profit after tax (NPAT) of A $250 million for the six months to 31 December 2018.

The New Zealand business achieved NPAT of NZ $120 million, up 79.1% on the prior corresponding period.

Suncorp New Zealand CEO Paul Smeaton said the result reflected strong top-line growth, the absence of any major natural hazard events during the half year, and strong ongoing business performance.

"We continue to make good progress on our strategy to connect New Zealanders to products, services and experiences that enhance and protect their financial wellbeing," said Mr Smeaton.

General Insurance 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 NZ $103 million, up 106% on the prior corresponding period. Strong top-line growth and favourable natural hazard and working claims experience contributed to the improved performance.

Mr Smeaton said that while the benign weather experience contributed to a strong first half result, 2018 was the second most expensive year for severe weather since 1969, with insurers spending NZ $226 million in settling claims, according to data from the Insurance Council of New Zealand.

"While this is a pleasing result, the reality is that natural hazard events could hit us at any time. We are well prepared to be there for our customers."

Life Insurance result

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 NZ $17 million, in line with the prior corresponding period. In-force premium grew by 4%.

Mr Smeaton said Suncorp was working closely with the New Zealand Government and regulators on the Conduct and Culture review of the life insurance industry and that Suncorp welcomed any measures that deliver improved outcomes for customers.

Outlook

Mr Smeaton said Suncorp remains focused on building a more resilient business to meet a greater number of customer and business partner needs - across its direct, intermediated and corporate partner channels.

"We are well placed to build on a strong first half result and remain committed to being there for our customers in the moments that matter."

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