QBE Carries “Positive Momentum” Into Q1 2022

QBE has released its Q1 2022 financial results, saying the company has continued the “positive momentum” experienced throughout FY2021.

Gross written premium rose to $6.9 billion, 19 per cent (or 22 per cent in constant currency terms) on the corresponding prior period, despite a number of natural catastrophes and significant geopolitical events.

Andrew Horton, CEO of QBE, said Group-wide renewal rate increases averaged 7.9 per cent in the first quarter, while growth ex-rate of 18 per cent was substantial, albeit supported by growth in segments such as Crop and QBE Re where gross written premium is heavily weighted to the first quarter. Excluding Crop, Group gross written premium increased by 15 per cent, with ex-rate growth of 10 per cent.

“We have had a strong start to the year for gross written premium growth and will review FY2022 outlook at the half-year result following the key mid-year renewal period,” Horton said.

“Elevated catastrophe experience continued, including widespread flooding and storms across the east coast of Australia and Storm Eunice in the UK and Europe. Natural catastrophe claims for the quarter were however in line with the first quarter allowance.”

QBE expects to have some exposure to the broader Ukraine conflict through a number of lines such as political violence, political risk, and aviation. While the situation remains dynamic, potential net impact is currently estimated at around $75 million.

Horton also outlined a new strategic direction with six strategic priorities which will guide QBE for the medium to long term: portfolio optimisation, sustainable growth, bringing the enterprise together, modernising the business, people, and culture.

“We are modernising our business to ensure we are a future fit and a modern insurer,” Horton said. “We will complete the modernisation of our foundational IT systems and processes and accelerate development and investment in our digital capabilities to make things easier for our customers, partners, and people.

“This workstream has been collaborating with our Portfolio Optimisation and Sustainable Growth teams to ensure we invest in the right capabilities to achieve our target business model. At the same time, we have programmes in place to build and encourage a future thinking mindset.”