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HBF Group reports healthy $59m profit

THE HBF Group has reported a surplus of $59 million last financial year despite paying a record $572 million in health claims. In a statement this week HBF attributed the surp-lus to strong returns on investments. HBF Health ended the financial year with a surplus of $49 million, largely a result of investment earnings on funds held in reserve. The company’s managing director, Mike Gurry, said the surplus funds would be placed on reserve to meet the cost of future claims. “The group earned $43 million on invest-ments last financial year, up 48 per cent on the current financial year,” he said. HBF Health paid benefits of $572 million to members over 2004-05, an increase of 6.6 per cent on the previous period. Mr Gurry said the large increase in overall claims was illustrated by the growth in theatre benefits by 8.4 per cent to $89 million and an increase of 13 per cent to $60 million in benefits paid to members to cover doctors’ fees. The HBF Group surplus was also assisted by HBF Insurance, which produced a net surplus of $5.3 million after tax for the financial year.

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