Insurance giant Suncorp has reported a AU$642 million (around $673.4 million) net profit after tax (NPAT) in the six months ended December 31, up from AU$250 million (around NZ$262.2 million) the previous year, thanks mainly to the sale of its Capital SMART and ACM Parts business and strong reinsurance arrangements.
Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston said the results reflect the early progress the company has made in implementing its refocused strategy, amid challenging economic conditions and significant natural disasters, including storms and bushfires.
Profit after tax (PAT) from Suncorp’s business lines was down by 6.2%, owing to lower reserve releases, an increase in regulatory project costs, and a contraction in the home lending book.
The group’s Australian insurance unit delivered a AU$123 million NPAT, a 3.9% decline on the prior corresponding period, with its home and motor gross written premium posting 3.1% growth.
In New Zealand, Suncorp achieved PAT of AU$108 million (around NZ$113.2 million), demonstrating a normalised natural hazards experience.
“We remain confident in the resilience of the group and we will continue to take a strategic approach to protect the consistency of our earnings by strengthening our core businesses, supported by appropriate risk selection, and significantly strengthened reinsurance arrangements,” Johnston said. “Looking ahead, we will continue to build our portfolio of brands while focusing on adding value through our digital platforms and shaping the business to better drive operational excellence and efficiency.”
The company declared an interim dividend of 26 cents per share, fully franked.