QBE Insurance posts 35% jump in profitPosted On: Aug. 15, 2019 12:15 PM CST
(Reuters) — Australia’s QBE Insurance Group Ltd. said Thursday its first-half cash profit rose 35%, helped by lower claims losses and robust investment return.
The country’s third-largest listed insurer’s cash profit for the six months ended June 30 rose to $520 million from $385 million a year ago.
That sent the company’s shares as high as 3% to AU$12.44 ($8.39) in early trade, while the broader market was nearly 2% lower.
QBE is in recovery mode after a weak spell, having posted a record annual loss in 2017 as hurricanes swept the Atlantic and earthquakes rattled Mexico.
It had ended fiscal 2018 with a better-than-expected profit.
The insurer’s combined operating ratio — claims payouts against premium income — came in at 95.2%, slightly better than the midpoint of its projected range of 94.5% to 96.5% for fiscal 2019.
QBE reaffirmed its full-year forecast on Thursday and declared an interim dividend of 25 Australian cents a share, higher than the 22 cents interim payout of last year.