New India Assurance eyes 20 pct growth next year

PTI Posted online: Friday, Dec 27, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Mumbai : State-run New India Assurance is hoping for a healthy growth in 2014 on the back of better auto sales, uptick in investments and rural demand, a top company official said today.

The country's largest general insurer is also hopeful of achieving its Rs 15,000-crore premium target this fiscal.

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"We hope to grow at around 20 per cent next year with increased rural demand, revival in investments and higher auto sales," General Manager and Whole-time Director of New India Assurance K Sanath Kumar said.

Growth rate of the general insurance industry has come down to around 12 per cent in recent months due to a steep fall in automobile sales, especially passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

General insurers have been hit hard by slowdown in the auto sector, their mainstay contributing around 40 per cent of their business.

Also, lack of new projects along with stalled investments have impacted the commercial line of businesses, dragging down the overall growth rate from an average of around 18 per cent to about 12 per cent.

"I think, there are greenshoots in the economy, which is likely to push growth from the last quarter of this fiscal," Kumar said.

Talking about premium collection in the current financial year, he said the company is confident of achieving Rs 15,000-crore premium target.

"We have grown higher than the industry average and also increased our market share marginally in November. As far as premium target is concerned, we are confident of achieving Rs 15,000 crore of premium collection this fiscal."

The public sector general insurer had posted a four-fold rise in net profit at Rs 644 crore in the first half of FY14 on the back of sound operational performance. Nnet profit was at Rs 205 crore in the same period previous fiscal.

Gross written premium of the firm rose 12.5 per cent to Rs 6,906 crore in H1 of the current fiscal.