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Tower New Zealand in renewal mode

Tower New Zealand has produced a good result a “year of renewal”, former joint managing director Jim Minto says.

Friday, December 1st 2006, 7:20AM
The company yesterday produced its last financial report as a combined Australian and New Zealand, but did provide briefing on each geographical unit.

One of the star performers was Tower Health and Life, a business that lost its way in recent years, particularly after losing many key staff.

That business is now on track with chief financial officer John de Zwart saying that some “good signs are starting to emerge.”

On the positive side of the ledger in-force premium record some solid growth, up 10.4% in the year to September 30. Group health and life and individual health lapses improved despite some repricing.

De zalt said changes had meant THL had strengthened the profitability of its product lines and closed unprofitable ones.

Tower’s investment business received little time in the results presentation. Its profit was up from $4.9 million to $6.8 million and this was boosted by a one-off gain from the sale of its index fund, Tortis Ozzy to the NZX.

The business is currently going through a lot of restructuring and preparing for the introduction of KiwiSaver.

Tower’s recently appointed chief executive Rob Flanagan says he is currently “spending time familiarising myself with the business.”

He is happy with the result: “To me this is a very good result and it is my intention to continue the journey.”

“The house is very much in order to make Tower grow,” he says.

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