ICICI Lombard posts 22% rise in Q3 profit as premiums climb

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s ICICI Lombard General Insurance on Tuesday reported a 22.4% rise in third-quarter profit, helped by a growth in premiums and investment income.

Profit after tax rose to 4.31 billion rupees (nearly $52 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31 from 3.53 billion rupees ($42.61 million) a year earlier, the ICICI Bank – backed company said in an exchange filing.

ICICI Lombard, a non-life insurer, offers insurance for health, fire, and motor segments.

Motor insurance, the company’s biggest segment, contributed 50.8% to the total premium earned, while its fastest growing health insurance segment posted 42.4% growth.

India saw bumper vehicle sales in the quarter due to the festive and wedding seasons, resulting in a rise in policies for general insurers.

Net premium earned during the quarter rose 13.5% to 43.05 billion rupees.

Income from investments – another key metric – rose nearly 15% to 6.66 billion rupees in the December-quarter.

The insurer’s combined ratio, an important profitability metric for an insurance firm’s underwriting business, improved to 103.6% from 104.4% 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.

($1 = 83.0699 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nishit Navin and Dimpal Gulwani in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)