QBE reveals profit surge and executive reshuffle

CEO of one regional segment will step down in shake-up

QBE reveals profit surge and executive reshuffle

Insurance News

By Jordan Lynn

Australian insurance giant QBE has announced a 30% boost in statutory net profit in its half year results.

The firm saw statutory net profit after tax hit AU$345 million (US$273 million), compared with AU$265 million (US$210 million) last year, while adjusted net profit after tax rose 76% to AU$464 million (US$368 million).

Gross written premium for the global business increased 3%, while the Australian and New Zealand operations of the business saw a GWP rise of 5% on a constant currency basis to just over AU$2 billion, compared to AU$1.86 billion in the first half of 2016.

The European arm of the firm saw a 1% reduction in premium rates with modest GWP growth on a constant currency basis.

The combined operating ratio of the business rose to 95.3%, compared with 94.5% in the same period last year, following a weaker underwriting result in the emerging markets sector of the business, which was relayed to the market in June. As part of its results announcement, the firm made a host of changes within the emerging market sector to address the issue with David Fried, currently CEO of emerging markets, stepping down from the role as the sector will be split into two separate divisions for Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Current group chief risk officer, Jason Brown, will become CEO of Asia Pacific, while Carola Fratini, currently CEO of QBE’s Argentina business, will take on the role of Latin America CEO.

“A detailed review has been undertaken to determine the remediation activities required to improve underwriting performance in the second half of 2017 and beyond,” John Neal, QBE Group CEO said.
“In addition to the tightening of underwriting controls and discipline, improved pricing models are being introduced, enhanced reinsurance protections considered and cost reduction plans implemented.”

For the full year, the group is targeting “modest growth” in GWP, an upgrade from the previous “relatively stable” target thanks to better than expected top line growth in Australia, New Zealand and North America.



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