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QBE posts H1 net profit surges

Australian insurer QBE has posted a net profit of $673m for the first half of 2011, up 53% from the first half of 2010.

According to insurer, the increase in the half year profit was mainly due to substantially higher net investment income and profits from recent acquisitions, which have exceeded original expectations.

The insurer’s net earned premium also increased 29% to $6.78bn.

The combined operating ratio increased from 89.7% to 95.7% entirely due to the record level of large individual risk and catastrophe claims, which added 6.6% to the claims ratio when compared with the first half of last year or 7.8% when compared with the average for the past seven years.

The insurance profit margin of 11.2% was below the margin of 15.8% for the same period last year and our target of 15% to 18%.

QBE Americas Division reported a combined ratio of 88.9% in the first half of 2011, marking an improvement from the 91% reported during the same period of 2010.

QBE CEO Frank O’Halloran said the broad geographic and product diversity together with an excellent attritional claims ratio, and new worldwide reinsurance protections, have ensured that the underlying underwriting profitability around the world remains strong.

"We continue to outperform the majority of our peers, many of whom have announced combined operating ratios in excess of 100% due to the record level of catastrophe claims in the first half," O’Halloran said.