27 Sep 2013

Fidelity Life annual net profit up 25% to $17.1m

1:12 pm on 27 September 2013

New Zealand-owned life insurance company Fidelity Life says annual net profit is up 25% to $17.1 million.

Chairman Ian Braddock says his company's increased profit was driven by a 10% rise in premium income, including new business of $14.8 million, and a sharp increase in investment income.

Mr Braddock says the significant improvement from last year's $13.6 million profit caps off a year of change for Fidelity Life in which it bought the Tower life insurance business and sold its Kiwisaver scheme.

He says the profit for the year ended 30 June excluded any of the impact of the acquisition of Tower Life and although it was announced in May it didn't settle until after the balance date in early August.

Mr Braddock says a significant increase in income and profit is projected for the coming year and details will be announced to shareholders at the AGM in three weeks time.

He says integrating Fidelity and Tower Life is a major job which is expected to take 12 - 18 months and the company is taking on an additional 47,000 policies on top of its existing 70,000 policies.

Mr Braddock says there is a full time implementation team which has been working for two months and initial indications are that the integration is going well.

He says full details of how Fidelity paid for Tower are still confidential.

Mr Braddock says selling his company's Kiwisaver operations for about $16 million, which was to allow the company to focus on its life insurance operations, was not directly linked to the Tower purchase.

"It was funded through a mix of internal reserves and also reinsurer support. The fine detail of that is still confidential but our balance sheet after the transaction is very strong," he says.