nib holdings limited (ASX: NHF), one of Australia’s fastest growing health insurers, today announced its New Zealand operations had contributed NZ$8.0 million or more than 10% to the Group operating profit of AU$72.3 million for the 12 months ended 30 June 2014. New Zealand’s second largest health insurer also confirmed its ongoing investment to grow the market and its share of the market.
The FY14 result is the inaugural full year contribution by the New Zealand business since nib acquired TOWER Medical Insurance in November 2012 and subsequently established the nib brand in New Zealand.
nib New Zealand CEO, Mr Rob Hennin, said the result was pleasing particularly given the significant level of upfront investment in the new brand and advertising.
“Since acquiring the business, we have spent a lot of time and effort transitioning and rebranding the business. With this complete and our New Zealand management team in place, we launched late last year a direct to consumer product range supported by a significant marketing investment and fronted by our brand ambassador Benji Marshall,” Mr Hennin said.
“Overall, the results have been very positive with more than 10,500 policyholder sales during the period, of which 40% have been direct to consumer. Adding to the good news, 57% of sales were to customers in our target under 40 years of age range and more than 50% joined online. The private health insurance market needs more participation amongst younger people and part of our challenge is to make products more attractive and affordable,” Mr Hennin added.
In addition to the success of the direct to consumer product range, nib said it has also invested heavily in the development of other distribution channels.
“We have strengthened our capability in the adviser channel by launching a new suite of products ranked best in the market. Adding to this we also partnered with Fidelity Life, New Zealand’s third largest life insurer, to further expand our distribution and through this arrangement now sell a bundled health and life insurance product,” Mr Hennin said.
nib also confirmed that due to the success of the company’s growth strategy it was maintaining its investment in modernising and growing the business.
“A robust New Zealand economy and pressures on the public healthcare system provide fertile ground for growing the private health insurance market. It’s only early days for us but with further investment, innovation and effort we’re confident about the future.”
“We also see a significant opportunity for nib to make a positive contribution to the national discussion about the future funding of New Zealand’s healthcare system as well as engage consumers to help them make better and informed choices about their health,” Mr Hennin added.
About nib New Zealand As the second largest health insurer in New Zealand, nib provides a range of health insurance options for New Zealanders, as well as for New Zealand companies who want health insurance for their employees. nib provides value for money and affordable health cover to more than one million people in Australia and New Zealand. With over 60 years' experience, today nib is a truly Trans-Tasman business that offers innovative products and services, and greater value for our customers.