Suncorp Group after tax net profit was down by 83.5 percent to $175 million, although this included a $910 million after tax non-cash loss on sale of the Australian Life Insurance and Participating Wealth Business.
However, cash earnings increased 1.5 percent to $1.1 billion and profit after tax from ongoing functions increased 1.0 percent. The result was impacted by $129 million in natural hazard costs above allowance, a 76 percent uplift in regulatory project costs, an increase in compliance costs and an increasingly competitive, slowing mortgage market. In Australia, Insurance profit after tax was down 13.7 percent to $588 million, largely driven by higher natural hazard claims costs.
Net incurred claims increased by 7.7 percent driven by higher natural hazard costs, the impact of risk-free rate movements and claims inflation, partially offset by other benefits.
Total investment income increased by 51.9 percent and operating expenses increased due to an uplift in regulatory costs and additional marketing spend to drive unit growth in the second half, which were also partially offset
Suncorp announced a final fully franked dividend of 44 cents per share (cps), taking full year ordinary dividends to 70 cps, an 81.2 percent payout ratio. In addition, there was a proposal to pay a 39 cps special dividend to return proceeds from Life Insurance sale.