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Suncorp-Metway Profit Dents 40% After Loan Losses

The earnings have been dented by slowing economic growth, natural disasters such as the Victoria bushfires, and volatile financial markets

Suncorp-Metway Limited, an Australian-insurer, has reported its fiscal-year profit that slumped 40% as the company set aside more money to cover bad debts – reported Bloomberg.

The net income in the fiscal-year ended June 30 fell to A$348 million from A$583 million in 2008, reported the company.

The earnings have been dented by slowing economic growth, natural disasters such as the Victoria bushfires, and volatile financial markets. The impairment charge on soured loans soared 10-fold to A$710 million.

Suncorp fell to A$7.58 and has dropped 3.9% in 2009.

According to state government insurance data, the economy in Queensland has been worst hit by the global recession. The fires in Victoria in February killed 173 people and triggered about A$1.2 billion worth of losses claimed.