India’s ICICI Lombard Q2 pre-tax profit rises 25% on higher premium collection

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s ICICI Lombard General Insurance on Wednesday reported a 25.3% rise in second-quarter pre-tax profit helped by a rise in premiums earned, and higher investment income.

Profit before tax rose to 7.64 billion rupees ($91.80 million) from 6.10 billion rupees a year earlier, the ICICI Bank – backed insurer said in an exchange filing.

However, the insurer’s profit after tax fell 2.2% to 5.77 billion rupees due to an over nine-fold increase in provisions for tax. ICICI Lombard, a non-life insurer, offers insurance in the health, motor and fire segments, among others.

Net premium earned rose 12.2% to 43.06 billion rupees.

The insurer’s combined ratio, a key profitability metric for an insurance firm’s underwriting business, improved to 103.9% from 105.1% a year ago.

The combined ratio measures the incurred losses and operating expenses as a percentage of premium collected. It does not take into account income from investments.

ICICI Lombard’s net income from investments advanced 13.8% to 7.23 billion rupees in the September quarter.

Analysts at Kotak Institutional Equities had expected the company’s profit to be aided by higher investment yield.

The company’s net premium earned from its fastest growing-health insurance rose 32.5% in corporate segment and 18.8% in retail segment, while its largest segment of motor insurance posted a moderate 2.7% growth amid a drop in demand for 2-wheelers and entry-level cars.

Shares of the company ended 0.1% lower ahead of the results.

($1 = 83.2260 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nishit Navin in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)