QBE Group has announced the financial results for its half-year ending June 30, 2019, recording a cash profit after tax of US$520 million – up by 35% on the previous half-year period.
Its gross written premium (GWP) rose by 1% to US$7,637 million, and statutory net profit was up 29% to US$463 million.
QBE shares have lifted by 2.5% to $12.38 off the back of the strong results, and the business has continued its strategy of minimising costs and offloading overseas businesses in order to simplify its structure.
There is no separate announcement for QBE Europe this year, with the UK included under the international business banner – a strongly performing segment.
Overall, international business saw gross written premium climb 4% to US$2,880 million, while net earned premium was also up 3% compared to the same period last year at US$2,019 million. Its underwriting result climbed 74%, while its combined operating ratio fell from an already healthy 96.8% last time around to 94.3% during the first six months of this year.
“In the UK, both commercial motor and financial lines continue to attract the highest rate increases, particularly the latter where double digit increases are becoming the norm,” the company wrote in its results announcement. “The European insurance business has seen an improvement in market conditions during 2019, albeit still relatively minor at this stage.”
QBE Group CEO Pat Regan said that the half-year performance overall reflected “significant improvement in attritional claims experience across all divisions,” along with strong returns on investment.
“With a strong first half result now behind us and our 2019 full year guidance unchanged, through the second half of 2019 we will continue to build on the good progress we have made against our priorities,” Regan said.