Suncorp Group has posted a net profit after tax of $631 million for the six months leading to 31 December 2014.
In a statement via the ASX, Suncorp has reported a half-year profit increase of 15.1 per cent from its $548 million result in the previous corresponding period.
Suncorp chairman Ziggy Switkowski said, based on the results, Suncorp has declared an increased interim dividend of 38 cents per share fully-franked.
“The improved half-year profit and interim dividend reflects the group’s earnings diversification across insurance and banking.
“This result clearly demonstrates the benefits of the business model in delivering a consistent and reliable earnings base,” Dr Switkowski said.
Across the group’s general insurance business Suncorp posted a $419 million profit after tax, despite net claims of $250 million from the Brisbane hailstorm in November 2014.
“The result reflects the ongoing focus on claims and expense management, with improvements in long-tail claims processes resulting in reserve releases of $214 million,” a statement from Suncorp said.
Its banking business Suncorp Bank, delivered an after-tax profit of $176 million, up from $105 million in the previous corresponding period.
“The result was achieved through an improved net interest margin (NIM), a reduced cost-to-income ratio and lower impairment charges,” the statement said.
“Home lending growth of two per cent reflects the bank’s conservative approach and a focus on the ‘below 80 per cent’ loan-to-valuation ratio market.”
“The bank cost-to-income ratio fell to 52.2 per cent due to revenue growth, a strong focus on cost control and a one-off favourable $19 million legal settlement,” it said.
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