Peter Harmer described IAG's performance for the 2019 financial year as a 'very pleasing result' at last week's AGM.
He reported that gross written premium grew by just over 3%, largely from increased prices, supplemented by a favourable foreign exchange rate with New Zealand. "Like-for-like premium growth across the Group was close to 4%.
Our underlying insurance margin continued the improvement we recorded last year, increasing to 16.6%.
At the reported margin level, that improvement in underlying performance was outweighed by claim costs from natural disasters, credit spread movements, and significantly lower prior period reserve releases." he said.
Net profit after tax of $1,076 million was over 16% higher than in the 2018 financial year, because it included an over $200 million profit on the sale of the Thailand operations.
"This year, we have focused on how we might grow Customer engagement and pursue longer term growth opportunities.
Our Customer Labs team continued to digitise our home and motor claim processes.
We can now increasingly personalise the experiences we offer customers, and connect them to more products and services.
One development means that customers can now track motor repairs via SMS updates – which has proved very popular."
Referring to Repairhub he said: "We are now taking significant steps to build out new businesses that complement our core insurance offering. We’ve also been busy refining our enhanced repair model. We now have majority ownership of a number of rapid repair motor workshops. We will expand the model more broadly across Australia and New Zealand in the coming year.I’m pleased to advise that RACV is one of our partners in this initiative," Harmer said and closed by saying that it has been another very satisfactory year.