nib reports strong topline growth across operations

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nib has announced that underlying operating profit rose 14.8 per cent to $235.3 million for the 12 months to the end of June 2022.

The company said its underlying revenue rose 7.2 per cent to $2.8 billion.

Net profit after tax was down 16.6 per cent to $133.8 million. It attributed this fall to losses in investment returns due to volatile financial markets.

Managing director Mark Fitzgibbon said, “Our Australian Residents Health Insurance business (arhi) grew 3.2%, well above what we expect the industry will report. Premium revenue rose 5.2% to $2,286.2 million, even though we deferred the 2022 annual premium increase. Our final quarter of FY22 was particularly good; the best we’ve experienced in seven years,”

Mr Fitzgibbon said the strength of the company's Australian private health insurance business and its operation in New Zealand helped offset pandemic-inflicted weakness in travel and international students.

He said market conditions are currently favourable to private health insurance participation, noting that the sector grew seven consecutive quarters to 31 March 2022. 

“There has, and continues to be, a considerable level of hospital and other healthcare treatment that has been put off during the pandemic," said Mr Fitzgibbon.

"We continue to make provision in our financial accounts for most of this treatment eventually occurring, yet it’s a very inexact science and COVID-19 conditions remain unpredictable. However, the risk is likely on the upside to earnings.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said, “There’s been some criticism of the industry and the level of return of savings to members for what has effectively been a partial denial of service during the pandemic. We’re naturally taking a cautious and prudent approach given ongoing uncertainty about how COVID-19 ultimately plays out.”

The company said the outlook anticipates favourable market conditions for each of its businesses.

“Fundamentally, our Payer to Partner (P2P) strategy is attempting to make our value proposition as much about preventing or managing the risk of disease or injury as it is protecting members and travellers once they are sick or hurt. It’s also about creating a single and seamless platform for members and travellers to access healthcare and related services with an emphasis on digital engagement. Both objectives have application across the Group businesses,” said Mr Fitzgibbon.

“arhi is in very good shape and away to a very good start adding 4,399 members in the first six weeks of FY23. We expect net growth of 3-4% this year and our new product concepts to build nib’s market presence. Health insurance will remain our core economic engine yet, in the future, treatment packages, GreenPass and other non-PHI initiatives will not only meet consumer needs but introduce people to nib."