May 26, 2014 / 8:47 PM / 3 years ago

NZ's Tower H1 profit slides 70 pct on rising claims

WELLINGTON, May 27 (Reuters) - New Zealand insurance company Tower Ltd posted a 70 percent fall in half-year profit on Tuesday due to a rise in claims from severe weather events, while its income has been cut following recent divestments.

The company said profit after tax was NZ$13.1 million ($11.21 million) in the six months to March 31, compared with NZ$44.2 million in the same period last year.

It announced a dividend of 6.5 cents per share, up from 5 cents a year ago.

Tower said it faced an increase in claims in recent months following floods and cyclones in New Zealand’s South Island.

Last year, the company sold its health, investment and life insurance businesses last year to streamline its operations. ($1 = 1.1688 New Zealand Dollars) (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Alison Williams)

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