Suncorp Group has posted a net profit after tax of $631 million for the six months 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 that, 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," Dr Switkowski said.
“This result clearly demonstrates the benefits of the business model in delivering a consistent and reliable earnings base.”
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.
The 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.