NIB eyes overseas investment

Health insurer explores ways to expand as Australian market matures.

Health insurer NIB Holdings (NHF) says potential new areas of business for the company include overseas medical treatment.

NIB, which is part of the Uncapped 100, says growing its Australian residents health insurance is still the top priority, but the company will explore other ways in which to expand.

"We're particularly interested in exploiting some of the big trends within healthcare such as the accelerating growth of cross-international-border medical treatment," NIB chairman Steven Crane said in the company's annual report.

NIB wants to use its brand and distribution to take advantage of the burgeoning demand in Australia and Asia for medical travel, including for cosmetic surgery.

Mr Crane said that the Australian market had matured, competition had intensified, and regulatory constraints on pricing made it harder to lift margins.

Consequently, NIB had to pursue new sources of earnings.

NIB booked a 0.7% fall in annual profit to $67.2 million in the 2012/13 financial year.

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