Coronavirus uncertainty pushes QBE to withdraw financial targets

Coronavirus uncertainty pushes QBE to withdraw financial targets | Insurance Business

Coronavirus uncertainty pushes QBE to withdraw financial targets

Sydney-headquartered insurance group QBE no longer stands by its earlier released 2020 outlook.

In February, when QBE reported a 41% rise in its net profit after tax for 2019, the company also set a couple of full-year targets for 2020 – a combined operating ratio of between 93.5% and 95.5%, as well as a net investment return range of 2.5% to 3%.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has now prompted the insurer to take back those goals.

“In light of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and uncertain economic and investment market outlook, we consider it prudent to withdraw those previously advised targets,” stated the insurer in a regulatory filing on March 30.

QBE offered assurances, though, that the capital position and liquidity of the group are strong. Further updates will provided at the firm’s annual general meeting, which will be conducted virtually on May 07.

Meanwhile group chief executive Pat Regan declared: “These are extraordinarily difficult times for all of our stakeholders: our customers, our broker partners, our staff, our shareholders, and the community at large.

“Despite the obvious and extreme disruption to normal business practices, our priority is to maintain the health and wellbeing of our staff and continue to support our customers in this time of need.”