Posted on 01 Mar 2010
On Friday, Australian insurer QBE Insurance Group Ltd. announced that it made a profit of 1.97 billion Australian dollars ($1.77 billion) in 2009, a 6% increase from 2008.
The Sydney-based insurer's gross written premiums rose 10% to $14.46 billion Australian dollars ($12.99 billion). Its combined ratio deteriorated slightly to 89.6% compared with 88.5% the previous year.
QBE said its results were aided by net realized and unrealized gains on equities of $97 million Australian dollars ($87.1 million) in 2009 compared with a net loss of $554 million Australian dollars ($497.7 million) in 2008.
In a statement, CEO Frank O’Halloran said four acquisitions that QBE made last year are expected to help it show growth this year, and further acquisitions are possible.
“Premium growth is expected to be 3% in Australian dollars, or 18% in U.S. dollars at current exchange rates,” Mr. O’Halloran said in the statement. “Our balance sheet is well-positioned for further acquisitions and distribution opportunities to enhance our diverse product range and geographic spread.”