Shareholders in Aviva Health shared a €12.5m dividend payout from the Irish company last year as its profits increased by close to 45%.
The health insurer’s profits surged €5m higher than 2014 levels to €16.4 as revenue increased and the cost of claims fell.
Aviva Health’s net written premium climbed marginally to €116.3m while the cost of claims it incurred during the year dropped by almost 2% to €84.4m.
The directors of the company expressed their satisfaction with the results, saying it “performed well in a challenging market in 2015”.
They also said that the affordability of health insurance remains a concern for many of its customers.
Consequently, the company focussed on managing expenses and claims to keep premium costs down.
As a result of its improved profitability, Aviva Health paid out a €12.5m interim dividend last year.
This represented an increased on the €11m interim dividend paid the previous year while no dividend payment was made in 2013.
Some 70% would have been paid to its parent company Aviva with the remaining 30% going to its joint venture partner, AIB.
Aviva Health was bought by Irish Life in March 2016 after the joint venture partners put it on the market towards the end of last year.
At the time of the sale, Aviva Ireland chief executive Hugh Hessing said that its health insurance division had made a positive contribution to the company’s performance since its acquisition in 2008 but added that sufficient scale was needed to deliver strong returns in the private health insurance market.
Aviva would continue to focus on its life and general insurance businesses in Ireland, he added. Irish Life snapped up Aviva Health as part of its strategy to expand its footprint in the Irish health insurance market.
It also took full control of insurer GloHeath earlier this year by acquiring the remaining 51% of the company it didn’t already own.
Both moves combined handed it 400,000 policyholders and positioned it as the third largest player in the market. Irish Life is owned by Canadian insurance-focussed financial company Great-West Lifeco.
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