QBE announces profit boost

QBE announces profit boost | Insurance Business

QBE announces profit boost
QBE has announced a 5% rise in net profit after tax up to $844 million in their 2016 results.

On a constant currency basis, this was a 16% rise but gross written premium dropped 2%, the insurer announced.

Net earned premium also dipped 2% but saw a 2% rise on a constant currency basis whilst GWP rose by 1% on a constant currency basis.

The Australian and New Zealand operations of the business saw GWP rise 4% but insurance profit dipped US$49 million to US$418 million.

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John Neal, QBE Group chief executive officer, called the 2016 result “strong” as the rise in profitability reflected the strength of the global business and “a strong underwriting culture.”

“Corrective actions across underwriting and pricing, together with improved discipline in our claims management functions, contributed to a significant improvement in the Australian & New Zealand attritional claims ratio in the second half of 2016,” Neal continued.

The 2016 result also includes $366 million of positive prior year accident claims development, up from $147 million in 2015 as the business now has five consecutive halves of favourable claims development.

Whilst much has been made in recent results announcements about the turning of the market, QBE noted that they still expect tough conditions over the next year as the Australian market will look to continue its growth following hardening in mid-2016.

“We anticipate that the market backdrop will remain challenging in 2017, although indications of modest improvement are now emerging,” the business said in a statement to the ASX.

“The rate of decline in global pricing is easing and, while there is variation between markets, we anticipate that pricing markets other than Australia will be broadly flat in 2017.”

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