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Freedom anticipates first-half sales growth

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Freedom Insurance Group expects a 3-11% rise in first-half net revenue compared with the corresponding period last year.

The direct life insurer says higher trail commissions and favourable retention experience partly offset the impact of lower upfront revenue from sales.

Operating costs are projected to rise to $19-$20 million from $14.6 million, to support the sale of new products and increased maintenance expenses on the larger inforce book.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation are expected to be $7.5-$9 million, excluding a $3.3 million gain from the sale of its Noble Oak investment.

“Freedom continues to expect second-half sales and earnings to grow compared with the previous corresponding period… costs are also expected to increase, reflecting ongoing investment in lead generation, marketing and sales, as well as enhancements to the distribution capability to support growth,” the insurer says.

Market reception to new products has been encouraging, with about $1 million in anticipated first-half sales contribution, Freedom says.