HBF reports significant member growth in 'challenging' economic environment

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HBF, Australia’s fifth biggest health fund, has reported a 9.9 per cent increase in policies with the company now holding a market share of 7.82 per cent.

The company's 2022 annual report shows it now has almost 1.1 members with close to one in five outside its home state of Western Australia.

Its market share of 7.82 per cent is up from 7.3 per cent last year. 

However, it reported a net loss of $96.9 million driven by negative investment returns and the revaluation of its Perth head office.

Interim CEO Simon Walsh said the company delivered on its key strategic initiatives and continued growing its national market share in an increasingly challenging economic environment.

“It is a complex task to simultaneously retain, re-invent and improve an 81-year-old organisation. In FY22, we acquired a health fund and a physiotherapy business, achieved month-on-month policy growth for the second consecutive year, opened three more HBF Dental centres, secured new health partnerships, and progressed our major technology transformation program,” said Mr Walsh.

“These achievements were aligned with our strategy of expanding nationally, diversifying into health services, and transforming our technology to provide seamless member and provider experiences – a strategy focused on ensuring HBF continues to provide value for its members.

“We delivered on our strategic initiatives while staying true to our purpose as a not-for-profit, member-based organisation that truly cares about its members, its people, and the communities it operates in.

“However, it was a year not without its challenges. Our financial performance was impacted by the costs of delivering on this strategy, in particular the transformation program. In addition, like others our investments portfolio was impacted by volatile financial markets in FY22, resulting in a negative return, whereas in FY21 a positive return from our investments portfolio enabled HBF to report a net profit.

“We have also revised down the value our Perth head office, Walburniny, to $65.0 million, reflecting recent market evidence and our opinion that there are defects in the façade, which is the subject of litigation against the builder and other relevant parties.

“Looking ahead, HBF remains well-capitalised and positioned to make the most of our strategic investments and respond to continued economic pressures. We are targeting further national growth, the integration of our recent acquisitions, and, importantly, ongoing investment in the transformation program.

“Above all, we are committed and focussed on ensuring HBF provides ongoing value for our members.”