SYDNEY, AAP – Insurance Australia Group turned a profit in the first half of the 2022 financial year and is looking forward to a favourable operating environment over the next six months.

Australia’s biggest insurer owns the national home and car insurance group NRMA and similar businesses in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

IAG On Friday reported a net profit of $173 million for the half-year ended December, after a loss of $460 million in the previous corresponding period, on revenue of $9.2 billion.

Gross written premium income rose 6.2 per cent to $6.6 billion, on the back of higher premium charges and volume growth.

IAG also noted claims for vehicle insurance fell during the period when most of the eastern seaboard was in lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19.

But natural peril clams for disaster events such as floods, tornadoes and storms, cost the group $681 million, which was $299 million above expectations.

Looking ahead, IAG projects its GWP income will continue to grow in the second half.

“The 2022 financial year guidance aligns to IAG’s aspirational goal to achieve a 15 per cent to 17 per cent insurance margin over the medium term,” it said in a statement.

IAG will pay a first-half dividend of six cents per share, down from seven cents previously.