Suncorp’s life changes help first half result

Suncorp's moves around its life insurance products has helped drive the Queensland-based company to a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $530 million for the six months to 31 December 2015, down from the $631 million reported for the first half of 2015.

The company told the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that profit after tax from business lines was $544 million.

Commenting on the result, Suncorp chairman, Ziggy Switkowski, said the half year net profit after tax of $530 million demonstrated the benefits of a financial services conglomerate with the Banking and Life operations delivering improved underlying profits at a time when General Insurance earnings had been impacted by external headwinds and operational issues.

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The company's ASX announcement said Suncorp Life's net profit after tax for the half year was $53 million with the underlying profit increasing over 10 per cent to $58 million.

It said the profit after tax was impacted by investment market volatility with actual returns being lower than longer-term assumptions.

"Life's underlying profit has stabilised following the revision of key assumptions in 2014," the announcement said. "Overall claims and lapse experience was $8 million favourable. Life's total in-force annual premiums are up 5.2 per cent reflecting Life's continued focus on retention and value over volume, ensuring new business is written on a more sustainable footing."

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