Lending Association

Suncorp’s investment earnings soar

Like its rivals QBE and IAG, Suncorp, the owner of a slew of insurance brands led by AAMI, saw its December half-year results bolstered by a sharp rise in premiums and strong investment earnings.

Monday morning saw Brisbane-based Suncorp report a 5.4% lift in group profit after tax to $582 million for the first half of 2023-24.

The group reported, like QBE and IAG, double-digit growth in insurance premiums and strong returns from investing its surplus funds.

The board declared an interim dividend of 34 cents a share, up from 33 cents a share a year ago.

The company will tell shareholders later what it will do with the $4.9 billion it will get from selling its bank to ANZ – once the deal closes.

Suncorp said Monday that it expects to incur around $70 million post-tax of bank separation costs in the current half. Suncorp’s half-year revenue jumped 23% to $9.65 billion, up 23% on the year.

Cash earnings, a measure that excludes certain costs and one-time items, rose strongly to $660 million, from $580 million the previous year, with the company reporting losses from insurance events in the latest half-year.

“Strong equity market performance, higher running yields, and favorable mark-to-market movements across the General Insurance business resulted in higher net investment income of $396 million, compared to A$167 million in the first half fiscal 2023,” Suncorp said on Monday.

QBE and IAG both reported big rises in their investment returns as well.

Suncorp said it now expected gross written premium for its insurance business to be in the low to mid-teens for fiscal 2024 and kept its target for an underlying insurance trading ratio around the midpoint of the 10% to 12% range for the rest of the June year.