QBE Group Posts $1.278 Billion 2010 Net Profit; $1.168 Billion Underwriting

March 1, 2011

The Australia-based QBE Group reported net after tax profits of *$1.278 billion for 2010, a 17 percent decrease from the $1.532 billion reported for 2009. However, the decline was almost entirely due to a drop in investment income from $1.532 billion in 2009 to $659 million in 2010. Insurance profits rose by 6 percent to $1.703 billion from $1.609 billion in 2009.

QBE summarized some of its highlights for 2010 as follows:
— All divisions delivered an increased underwriting profit and return on allocated capital (ROE) above 15 percent
— COR of 89.7 percent – sixth consecutive year below 90 percent – outperformed large majority of peers
— Compound average gross premium income growth of 14 percent p.a. over the past 5 years
— Overall average premium rate increase on renewed business of 2.5 percent – above market averages – retention levels remain high
— QBE’s diversified portfolios resulted in an improved net claims ratio of 59.9 percent
(2009: 60.3 percent)
— Lower attritional claims ratio offset by higher than normal frequency of catastrophe claims, not experienced since 1999

Over the last five years QBE has grown rapidly, acquiring whole companies, or selected business lines from other companies. The group has made 48 acquisitions between 2005 and 2010 – summarized as follows:
Americas: Colombia, National Farmers’ Union, One-Beacon (partial), Praetorian, Winterthur, Mexico, North Pointe, Sterling National, NAU Country, CAN Argentina, Seguros Colonial, Seattle Specialty, Renaissance Re (partial)
Europe: British Marine, Mini Bus Plus, Endurance (partial), Secura NV
Australia: QBE LMI, Elders

It has already announced two acquisitions this year, taking over the Bank of America’s Balboa, and Australian insurer CUNA.

Source: QBE Group

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