Suncorp Group's New Zealand general insurance units Vero and AA Insurance lifted annual earnings as they benefited from growth in more profitable motor business, although the local group is still focused on stripping out costs.

The NZ insurance business's profit rose 12 per cent to $178 million on a 3.2 per cent increase in gross written premium (GWP) to $1.34 billion in the 12 months ended June 30, Suncorp told the ASX.

The Vero and AA Insurance divisions lifted motor GWP 11 per cent and home GWP 5.9 per cent.

Suncorp's New Zealand net incurred claims increased 8.9 per cent to $612m. Its operating expenses ratio fell to 32.4 per cent from 33.4 per cent.


Across the wider group, Suncorp's net profit fell 8.4 per cent to A$1.04b. A final dividend of A38c per share took the annual payment to A68c.

The insurer said it had paid $4.9b in Christchurch earthquake claims, some 92 per cent of expected cost.