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Sovereign posts solid result

Sovereign has reported a solid result for the 12 months to June 30 and says new products and the adviser channel are going well.

Friday, August 15th 2014, 11:53AM 2 Comments

The company's net cash profit after tax was up 3% to $103 million.

Sovereign chief executive Symon Brewis-Weston described the result as "solid rather than spectacular". He says it was pulled back a little because expenses were up due to software write-downs and restructuring costs.

Premium income was up from $616 million to $642 million however investment income fell slightly to $184 million, primarily on the back on the performance of the fixed interest markets.

He says that its adviser channel has performed well and that business from independent financial advisers was up 18% year-on-year. It's second biggest channel, ASB Bank, hadn't performed so well because of changes and a restructure.

Claims paid were up from $349 million to $358 million and persistency levels were good with lapse rates under 10%. During he year Sovereign increased its return on equity to 14.4%.

Its new product, Progressive Care has been well received by the market and has generated annual premium income of nearly $5 million in its first year.

Brewis-Weson says he was "absolutely thrilled" with how it had gone. While the company believed it was a good product, it didn't know how it would go until it was in the market.

Sovereign's home loan business was strong in the first half and was impacted by the Reserve Bank's low equity lending restrictions which were introduced in October last eyar. Despite that Sovereign wrote more than $1 billion in home loans and its book now sites at $6.2 billion.

Brewis-Weston says Sovereign is revamping its health insurance business, as well as developing productivity tools with technology which will help the company and advisers over the next year.

 

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Comments from our readers

On 17 August 2014 at 7:19 pm Cyril said:
I have nothing but praise for what Sovereign have done for the advisers of NZ in the past. I wish them well for the future as they move down there chosen distribution paths. As David Whyte wrote in an article in this media area recently saying that when Sovereign chose not to deal with the broker groups they abdicated the adviser markets to there competitors. The ISI stats over the last 2 years have indicated they succeeded in achieving there aim as there market share of new business took a dive as the ASB business grew . I assume the next ISI stats back up SBW's statement that there broker business has grown.
On 18 August 2014 at 1:04 pm bestadviser said:
Cyril
It's not about what they might have done for Advisers, it's about what they do for their policyholders and how their products stack up against the alternatives at claim time.

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