Suncorp H1 profit dips slightly

Switkowski says focus on balance sheet strength positions group well for full-year.

Suncorp Group (SUN) says its continued focus on balance sheet strength through initiatives such as life reinsurance arrangements are pushing along the group's transformation strategy, despite a modest slip in first-half profit.

In the six months to December 31, Suncorp posted a net profit of $548 million, a 4.53% decrease on the $574 million recorded in the previous corresponding period.

In the same period revenue was $8.25 billion, a modest 0.12% increase on the first half of 2013.

The group will pay a fully-franked interim dividend of 35 cents on April 1 to ordinary shareholders on the register at March 7. The payout is a 40% increase on the previous period.

Suncorp chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski said Suncorp's continued focus on balance sheet strength had bolstered the group's capital position.

"The group has more than $1.2 billion of additional capital held above the company's conservative operating targets,” he said.

"The transformation of the Suncorp Group is evidenced in the capital position, strength of the balance sheet, reduced complexity of operations and the growth and performance of the
businesses lines."

Suncorp chief executive officer Patrick Snowball said the group's result confirmed the successful implementation of  its transformation and strategy under the 'One Company, Many Brands' business model.

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