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nib on deal hunt as profits rise

Health insurer nib is on the lookout for acquisitions after posting an operating profit of $27.4 million for its New Zealand business last year.

Monday, August 20th 2018, 12:08PM

by Dan Dunkley

The company said the profit boost, in the year to June, was up 3.8% on the previous financial year. Revenue in New Zealand grew by 1.9% to $214.9 million over the year, the company said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

It comes as nib Holdings, the group’s Australian parent company, recorded an operating profit of A$184.4 million, and profit after tax of A$133.5 million.

The company has revealed it is on the lookout for potential acquisitions in New Zealand. Tony Ryall, chairman of nib New Zealand, said the company is keen to grow “through a combination of organic growth, strategic acquisitions as well as industry rationalisation”.

Rob Henin, chief executive of nib New Zealand, said sales growth had been driven by a focus on customer service. Henin said the insurer has experienced net policyholder growth of 2.8% over the year. He added: “Our fastest growing sales channel is now our direct-to-consumer and whitelabel portfolios which account for approximately 20% of all our inforce policies.”

Henin said the ongoing effort to improve customer service, such as the company’s support of comparison website Whitecoat, would ensure “member empowerment” and “transparency” in the sector.

In a further effort to boost New Zealand business, Nib has launched its first programme aimed at the country's Maori population, with an offering for Auckland iwi, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. “The unique partnership provides free universal private health insurance as well as wellness programs for all iwi members to help improve their health and wellbeing outcomes. We are really proud of our work with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. It’s been great to see this innovative programme come to life to help members of the hapū to overcome existing barriers,” Henin said.

Tags: Insurance Advisers Life insurance

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