QBE's interim profit falls

Group says result in line with forecasts based on lower investment yields.

QBE Insurance Group (QBE) has reaffirmed its full-year operating ratio and insurance profit margin targets, despite posting a steep drop in first-half profit that was far below consensus estimates.

In the six months to June 30, the company posted an underlying net profit of $477 million, significantly lower than the $555 million analysts were predicting.

QBE's net profit was $US447 million, a 37% decline on the $US760 million in the previous corresponding period.

The group said net profit was in line with its projections based on lower investment yields, although there was an increase in non-cash charges largely due to accelerated amortisation relating to its US lender-placed insurance (LPI) business.

In the same period revenue was $US9.111 billion, a 2% lift on the previous corresponding period.

The group affirmed its full-year targets of a combined operating ratio of 92% and an 11% insurance profit margin.

The group will pay a fully-franked interim dividend of 20 cents.

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