Stock Market

Medibank Australia reports a profit and an increase in policyholders; shares rise.

(Reuters): On Thursday, Medibank Private Ltd., Australia’s largest health insurer, announced a larger-than-expected increase in first-half earnings and said it took on policyholders this month, reversing losses since a high-profile hack in October.

The company’s shares ended up 6.5% higher at A$3.28, their best session in nearly three years and their highest level since Medibank revealed the breach in late October that exposed the data of millions of customers.

Medibank lost 13,000 clients between October and December as a result of the breach, limiting policyholder growth for the July-December period to 0.1%.

The rate of losses, however, slowed in January and flipped to a net increase of 200 members this month through February 18, according to Medibank.

According to Citi Research analysts, the increase offers Medibank some chance of regaining lost policyholders, but warns that “there is always the potential of a further surge of assaults from the criminals.”

Nonetheless, client additions, a higher first-half profit, and an increased dividend lifted the company on the day, helping it reduce its losses since the breach to 7%.

(Graphic: Medibank stock Medibank stock recovering,

According to brokerage company UBS, Medibank’s net profit after tax increased 5.9% to A$233.3 million ($159.4 million) in the six months concluded Dec. 31, beating the consensus expectation of A$211 million.

According to CEO David Koczkar, the results were aided by “outstanding” growth in the company’s foreign operations.

As Australia requires all incoming tourists and students to have health insurance, Medibank’s non-resident portfolio accounts for a significant part of its profits.

As the pandemic faded, more foreign students, tourists, and employees returned to the country, resulting in a 17% increase in policyholders at that company.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button