Thursday 24th May 2007
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The company said its March half-year net profit rose to 15.7 million compared with $11.4 million for the same businesses last year.
Net profit after tax attributable to shareholders (including discontinued operations) increased 561% to $214.5m.
The company earned a substantial one-off profit of $198.8m from the separation of Tower Australia.
Today's result includes the operating results of the demerged business for October and November 2006, leading up to separation.
Revenue from continuing operations rose 0.5% to $240.6m.
Earnings per share on continuing operations increased by 44% to 8.33 cents.
No interim dividend will be paid for the period. Chief executive Rob Flannagan said results of the ongoing business were steady.
During the period Tower's Health & Life business grew in key markets and margins improved.
General Insurance's performance was lower, however good operating performance by the Pacific Islands was partially offset by a provision for claims, and higher claims and expenses for the New Zealand business, Flannagan said.
Tower's investments business performed "solidly" but incurred significant costs during the period on compliance with KiwiSaver and the Portfolio Investment Entity regime.
Flannagan said he was pleased with the progress made in re-establishing the New Zealand and Pacific businesses.
He said recent changes to KiwiSaver announced in the budget were an important and positive opportunity for Tower which, as one of the approved default providers, should benefit from the anticipated increase in funds flow.
Shares in Tower last traded up 2 cents at $2.35. During the first half the stock fell 5.4% against a 15% rise for the benchmark NZSX-50 index.
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