21 Nov 2008

Strong year reported by Tower

11:00 am on 21 November 2008

Tower says it's had a strong year despite its investment business falling by 48%.

Net profit increased by 17% to $40.5 million in the year to the end of September.

The financial services group says its profit was underpinned by sharp growth in its health and life and general insurance businesses.

Health and Life's profit rose 25% to $5.8 million while profit in general insurance increased 20% to $14.8 million.

That was enough to offset a 48% decrease in Tower's investment business.

Investments accounted for $3.7 million of its profit this year, compared to $7.6 million the previous year.

Tower says the drop in profit in its investment business is due to reduced funds under its management, and ongoing investment in KiwiSaver.

Group revenue decreased 5.5%, to $454.8 million. But the company says it's positive about coming months, despite the tough economic conditions.

It says it is a New Zealand and Pacific Islands business that's not distracted by overseas relationships.

Given its increased profit, Tower will pay a dividend of 8 cents per share - an increase on the 6 cents per share dividend paid for the previous year.