NZ's Tower full-year profit rises 67 percent

WELLINGTON Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:52pm EST

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WELLINGTON Nov 29 (Reuters) - New Zealand insurer and fund manager Tower Ltd on Thursday reported a 67 percent rise in full-year profit on growth in insurance revenues, with the company also planning a return of funds to shareholders.

Net profit for the year to Sept. 30 was NZ$55.8 million ($46.1 million), compared with last year's NZ$33.4 million.

It said the result included a further NZ$13.6 million costs associated with the Canterbury earthquakes, but that general the business had recovered from the quakes with strong growth in life and general insurance.

The company said it would look to return NZ$120 million, the proceeds of the sale of its health insurance business, to shareholders

Shares in Tower closed on Wednesday at NZ$1.90. So far this year the stock has risen around 24 percent, against a 22 percent increase in the benchmark NZX-50 index.

Tower is the third-largest retail fund manager in New Zealand and the second-largest health insurer. It declared a final dividend of 6 cents per share.

Formerly operating as one company in New Zealand and Australia, it split into separate listed companies in November 2006, as the two companies followed different business strategies. See also

($1=NZ$1.21)

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