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Nib updates FY'20 outlook following increase in claims expenses

Nib Holdings Ltd. estimates that its group underlying operating profit for 2020 will likely be at least A$170 million, compared to its previous estimate of at least A$200 million.

The company also projects at least A$150 million of statutory operating profit in 2020, compared to its previously expected A$180 million.

The change is largely due to an increase in claims expenses across the company's Australian and New Zealand health insurance operations, according to the company.

On the other hand, data from the quarter ended December 2019 places Nib's risk equalization net contribution at around A$250 million for 2020, up 9% from 2019.

The company expects that its Australian Residents Health Insurance business will still deliver a net margin of circa 6% in 2020 despite claims inflation. The net margin for the ARHI business in 2019 was also updated to 6.2% from 6.5% following further claims development related to its 2019 financial result.

Nib expects its adjacent businesses, including its international students and workers businesses and its New Zealand operations, will likely result in a drag on its earnings for 2020 due to claims headwinds and a tougher operating environment despite accounting for a relatively minor proportion of its group earnings.

The company also expects that its Nib travel business' underlying operating profit for 2020 will be lower than its A$6.6 million underlying operating profit in 2019 due to a tough domestic sales environment and integration issues following its acquisition of QBE Insurance Group Ltd.'s travel insurance business in May 2019.