Insurance Australia Group says it's had a 'solid' first quarter of 2010/11, as it reaffirmed guidance for the full year.
Insurance Australia Group says it's had a 'solid' first quarter of 2010/11, as it reaffirmed guidance for the full year.

Insurance Australia Group's first half profit has more than tripled and the company has raised its performance targets for the full year.

IAG made a net profit of $461 million in the six months to December 31, up from $144 million in the previous corresponding period.

Its insurance profit of $815 million in the six months was also significantly higher, up from $271 million for the same period the previous year.

The results reflected a benign weather period in the half year, and improving financial markets.

The company incurred costs from floods in Thailand and hailstorms in Melbourne in the previous corresponding period.

IAG's natural peril claim costs in the six months to December were $133 million, down from $396 million in the same period the previous year.

Managing director Mike Wilkins said the company now expected to post a higher insurance margin than previously forecast over the full financial year.

"This is a strong half year result and, based on the momentum in the business, we're confident about our outlook," he said in a statement.

IAG expects its full year insurance margin to be between 12.5 per cent and 14.5 per cent, up from the previous guidance range of 11 per cent to 13 per cent.

The company also has maintained its full year natural peril claim cost assumption in line with its allowance of $620 million, after the impact of flooding and bushfires since the end of December.

IAG still estimates its costs from floods to be between $120 and $140 million, plus an additional $35 million from bushfires.

The company declared a fully-franked interim dividend of 11 cents per share, up from five cents per share for the previous corresponding period.

The West Australian

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