Blue Chip Shares News QBE Insurance Group (QBE)

ASX QBE Insurance GroupQBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) is a leading provider of general insurance and reinsurance services in Australia, the Pacific, Asia, the Americas and Europe.

The company is Australia’s largest insurer, and is considered one of market’s the blue chip shares.

It has offices in 45 countries, and offers a range of retail and wholesale insurance products, across a gamut of insurance lines.

Yesterday, QBE reported its FY10 results, with net profit falling 17% on FY09 to US$1.28 billion as national disasters in Australia, Chile and NZ significantly upped claims.

The profit result was in line with the company’s guidance. QBE’s overall insurance profit margin – a widely watched underlying profitability measure – fell to 15% from 17% a year earlier.

The profit margin came in below the company’s 16%-18% target range due partly to the unusually high number of extreme weather events and crimped by low interest rates in the UK, the US and Europe.

Net earned premium, QBE’s key revenue measure, rose by 20% to US$11.36 billion, in line with the company’s guidance.

As expected, QBE will pay a final dividend of 66 cents per share, flat on year, taking the full year dividend to $1.28.

QBE noted its outlook is positive, with expected net earned premium growth of 22%-25% in FY11 from acquisitions and expectations that insurance profit will grow by at least a similar percentage.

Receive daily QBE Insurance Group news and blue chip shares advice with a free trial.