Suncorp has announced that profits in the New Zealand insurance business have risen by 81% in HY18, compared with the prior corresponding period.
The firm saw its New Zealand business achieve a net profit after tax of $67m, with GWP growth of 7.6% in NZ dollar terms.
In its half year announcement the firm said that “good performance across all channels” saw the NZ business boosted as strong new business and retention rates delivered in-force premium growth of 5%.
Throughout the rest of the Suncorp Group, net profit after tax dipped 15.8%, due to natural disasters.
Overall however, natural disasters have been blamed for a 15.8% slide in profits at Suncorp.
Suncorp Group’s net profit after tax fell to AU$452m in their HY18 results, down from $537m at HY17, with the insurer pointing the finger at natural hazards and the timing of investments, but top line growth was boosted by 2.5% across the group thanks to consumer insurance and banking.
Natural hazard costs at Suncorp hit AU$395m in the half, which is AU$65m above the allowance for the period and was “primarily driven by Victorian hail storm,” the firm said.
In the Australian insurance division of the firm, net profit after tax was down 28.5% as growth in net earned premiums were not enough to overcome disaster costs.
Commercial lines saw GWP growth of 1.5% for HY18 as home and motor saw GWP boosted by 3.9%.
“Our intense focus on working claims performance, and repricing, has led to solid underlying margin expansion for our Home and Motor Insurance lines,” Michael Cameron, Suncorp managing director and CEO said.
Net incurred claims costs were up 14.7%, also due to higher natural disaster costs.
Looking ahead, the firm said that they expect a higher profit result over the coming six months with top line growth expected of between 3% and 5%.
“Our work over the past 18 months on driving efficiencies in our claims processes, improvements in our customer experience, a hardening insurance market and our strategic investment programs, position the business well for the second half,” Cameron said.