27 Nov 2013

Tower posts $34m net profit, down 38%

6:51 am on 27 November 2013

Tower's net profit has fallen for the full year following the divestment of large parts of its business and major storms during the period.

The company reported a 38% fall in statutory net profit of $34.2 million for the 12 months to September, compared with nearly $56 million last year.

The 2012 profit included a full year of profits from its divested businesses.

The company has sold its health and life insurance businesses and its funds management business.

As a result of that, 2013 includes 12 months of profit from health, six months from investments and 10 months from life.

Excluding the one-off items, the company's underlying net profit was $34.4 million.

The one-off items include a $32 million IT systems write down and $15 million hit from the Canterbury earthquake.

Tower chief executive David Hancock said it was a solid year for the business, which was now just general insurance.

"It does compare to last year at $55.8 (million) but I'm very keen to emphasis that we're going through a significant transition in regard to the business," Mr Hancock said.

"So that (the result) reflects some of that transitioning but it also reflects some of the abnormal items that we've been affected by around divestments and also some of the weather events that we had both onshore and offshore."

Tower will return $70 million of capital to investors from the majority sale of its life insurance business through an off-market, pro rata voluntary share buy-back.

The company is offering $1.81 for every share, which it says is the volume weighted average price of its stock for the five days before it announced it would return the capital in September.