Newcastle-based health insurer nib's profits increase to $133.5 million, full year 2018 results show

NIB managing director Mark Fitzgibbon at the Newcastle office. Picture: Marina Neil

NIB managing director Mark Fitzgibbon at the Newcastle office. Picture: Marina Neil

NIB has announced a net profit of $133.5 million for the 2018 financial year – an 11.1 per cent increase from the previous year.

On Monday, the Newcastle-based health insurer released its full year results for 2018, which revealed a total group revenue of $2.2 billion, up 11.5 per cent from 2017.

Throughout the year there was $1.5 billion in Australian residents health insurance (arhi) claims, which funded more than 280,000 hospital admissions, and 3.7 million dental and ancillary visits.

The insurer had a group operating profit of $184.8 million, up 20.2 per cent from the previous year, and a statutory operating profit of $169 million, up by 12.2 per cent.

Managing director Mark Fitzgibbon said private health insurance, domestically, was a tough market.

“But we grew at 3 per cent, which is six times the industry average,” he said.

“Little old nib – because we have less than 9 per cent of the market – accounted for almost half of the entire industry growth last year.”

The growth of the company’s “adjacent businesses” had contributed to their earnings.

“We insure about 160,000 international workers and students visiting Australia, we have a business in New Zealand, and we have a global travel insurance business today, with offices around the world,” he said.

“And those businesses are growing impressively.

“It’s part of our mantra in the business that profits are only the consequence of doing what you’re meant to do very well.

“In our case, it’s helping people access world class health care, and we are doing that. We paid for 280,000 hospital admissions last year.”

Mr Fitzgibbons said the 2018 premium increase of 3.94 per cent was the lowest it had been in 14 years.

“We are a company valued at $3 billion. About 80 per cent of our shareholders are mum and dad investors, and a lot of those are Newcastle and Hunter people,” he said.

“We need to make a profit as a business.

“One of the benefits of our success is that premiums don’t have to go up as much as they have in previous years.

“Last year was the lowest the premium has been in 14 years, and I reckon next year will be lower again.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said they would also be selling health insurance in China by the end of this financial year.

“We are very focused on affordability and reducing costs, and hopefully, reducing the pressure on future premium increases,” he said.

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