Helia Group saw a significant 37% rise in net profit for the full year, thanks to solid investment returns and minimal claims. Despite this positive development, there was a decrease in gross written premium.

Financial Performance

In the 12 months ending in December, Helia Group's net profit surged to 275.1 million Australian dollars (US$179.9 million) compared to the previous year's restated figure of A$201.2 million. The company restated its 2022 balances to comply with the new AASB 17 reporting standard that took effect on January 1, 2023.

The total revenue for the full year amounted to A$600.7 million, marking a substantial 56% increase from the previous year.

Market Conditions

Despite the positive net profit growth, there was a notable decline in gross written premium and new insurance written. The GWP dropped by 42% to A$185.2 million, reflecting challenging market conditions for new lending activities. Furthermore, new insurance written decreased by 35% to A$13 billion.

Helia's CEO, Pauline Blight-Johnston, noted that soft new business volumes were driven by persistently low levels of high loan-to-value ratio mortgage lending, compounded by the impact of the Federal Government's First Home Guarantee scheme.

Dividend Declaration

Board directors of Helia Group announced a final dividend of 15 Australian cents per share, up from 14 cents per share last year. Additionally, a special dividend of 30 Australian cents per share was declared, surpassing the previous year's special dividend of 27 Australian cents per share.

Future Outlook

Looking ahead to 2024, Helia anticipates insurance revenue to fall within a range of A$360 million to A$440 million. The total incurred claims ratio is expected to increase to approximately 30%.

"The annual ordinary dividend for full-year 2024 is projected to remain consistent with the levels seen in full-year 2023, reflecting the board's commitment to stable ordinary dividends," stated Helia.

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