Result improves despite weather losses

Australian financial services firm Suncorp’s general insurance division made a net profit after tax of A$557m (£319.5m) in the year to 30 June 2010, up 34% on the A$416m it made in the same period last year. The improvement came despite weather events in Melbourne and Perth.

Suncorp, which is run by former Aviva UK CEO Patrick Snowball, made a group net profit after tax for 2010 of A$780m, up 124% on 2009’s A$348m.

Suncorp's general insurance trading result for the year to June 30 2010 was A$605m, giving an insurance trading ratio (trading result as a percentage of net earned premium) of 9.6%. This compared with a ratio of 7.7% in the same period last year.

Gross premium written increased 3.1% to A$7bn from A$6.8bn, with short-tail classes, home and motor, experiencing growth of 13.6% and 6.4% respectively.

In long tail classes, compulsory third party rates increased in New South Wales and Queensland resulted in an overall gross written premium increase of 13.3%.

Premium income for commercial insurance lines was flat. Growth was achieved in the target market of SME packaged business through a focus on broker business, stable retention and some rate increases.

Suncorp’s New Zealand general insurance business saw premium growth of 6.5% and an insurance trading result of A$70m, up 84% on 2009’s A$38m.