Suncorp pays special dividend, announces $250m share buyback

Suncorp will pay shareholders a special dividend and has announced a share buyback of up to $250 million, as it returns excess capital to shareholders after delivering a 42 per cent rise in cash earnings.

The insurance giant on Monday delivered full-year cash earnings of $1.06 billion, helped by sharp increases in profits in its flagship insurance division and its bank.

“A vaccinated population is key to building confidence,” Suncorp CEO Steve Johnston said.Credit:Attila Csaszar

Group net profit after tax lifted by 13.1 per cent to $1.03 billion.

It will pay a final dividend of 40c a share, up from a pandemic-affected 10c a share last year. The board also declared an 8c special dividend and said it would launch an on-market share buyback of up to $250 million.

Chief executive Steve Johnston said the result had occurred against a backdrop of challenging weather, and it had struck a balance between returning excess capital and holding a large capital buffer.

“While COVID-19 and the weather will continue to challenge our customers and our team, we know we have good momentum and a program of work that will further improve outcomes for our customers and shareholders,” Mr Johnston said.

Suncorp, which also operates in New Zealand, said effective COVID-19 vaccination programs in Australia and NZ were essential to reduce the frequency and severity of lockdowns.

Mr Johnston said: “A vaccinated population is key to building confidence and restoring movement between the two countries and the world. All members of our Board and our Australian-based ELT are either fully vaccinated or are awaiting their second vaccine.”

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