August 29, 2018 / 12:11 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Freedom Insurance Group annual profit falls 6 pct

(Adding details on inquiry faced by co)

Aug 29 (Reuters) - Life insurer Freedom Insurance Group Ltd said on Wednesday its annual net profit fell six percent, hurt by weak sales in the first half of the fiscal year.

The company said net profit for the fiscal year to June 30, 2018 fell to A$13.2 million ($9.7 million) from A$14.1 million a year ago.

The company, which was listed on Tuesday among 10 firms to appear next month at an inquiry into misconduct in the financial services industry, said annual net revenue rose about 20 percent to $A64.1 million.

The insurer, which bought St Andrew’s Insurance from Bank of Queensland earlier in the year, had forecast annual sales to exceed A$63 million.

The insurer’s shares plunged to a record low after it was called along with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, AMP Ltd <AMP.AX, IAG, Suncorp and five other firms to appear before public hearings on the insurance sector from Sept. 10.

The year-long inquiry has uncovered widespread misconduct in the lending, wealth management and pension fund sectors. It will submit an initial report to the government by the end of September.

$1 = 1.3669 Australian dollars Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Tait and Stephen Coates

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