nib Group has posted a 9.2% rise in underlying operating profit (UOP) to $201.8 million for the 12 months to June 30, with its flagship arhi business still accounting for the bulk of total group earnings, contributing nearly 75% ($149.5 million) of group UOP.
The ASX-listed healthcare fund also reported a 2.1% net policyholder growth.
“Market conditions have been challenging for a range of reasons,” said Mark Fitzgibbon, nib group managing director. “There’s broad weakness in consumer discretionary spending, fierce competition for that spending, and private health insurance has some issues around cost and affordability, especially out-of-pocket expenses for members. But we continue to work hard at redressing these issues, improving the value proposition and growing our business and market share. For the five years up until June 30, 2019, we estimate nib accounted for about 20% of total industry growth. It’s a very solid achievement indicative of constant innovation such as the partnerships we enjoy today with the likes of Qantas, Suncorp Group and TAL.”
Also contributing to nib’s solid growth is the company’s international students and workers’ business, which delivered a net policy growth of nearly 20%, its UOP improving 17.9% to $34.9 million.
In New Zealand, net policyholder growth for the year was at 7.2% and premium income was up 8.8%.
NPS for the year rose 12.9 points to 34.0. Although UOP declined to $19.8 million due to increasing claims expense, a net insurance margin of 9.2% “speaks of ongoing good commercial performance,” Fitzgibbon said.
nib Travel, meanwhile, “remained a work in progress”, delivering a result of $6.6 million, down from $8.1 million the previous year.
nib declared a fully franked full-year dividend of 23¢ per share, up from 20¢ the previous year, representing a 60% to 70% payout ratio that will be paid on September 30.