Suncorp shares have hit their highest level since 2008 and CEO Patrick Snowball has received another pay rise due to the insurance company’s profit growth.

Insurance and banking group Suncorp’s growing profits have resulted in boss Patrick Snowball being rewarded with one of Australia’s largest executive pay cheques.

The 64-year-old Englishman took home remuneration worth $9.12 million in the 2013/14 financial year, on par with the heads the country’s largest banks and miners.

That was up from about $8 million in the previous year, due to larger long term incentives, paid in the form of Suncorp shares.

Mr Snowball’s pay has soared in the past three years, as the company’s profits and returns to shareholders also grew.

Growth in Suncorp’s insurance and banking operations boosted its 2013/14 annual profit by 49 per cent to $730 million, as the company lifted insurance premiums, incurred lower claims, and increased loans and deposits.

Shareholders are also being rewarded with an $895 million dividend payout, with the final dividend up 10 cents to 40 cents per share, plus a special dividend of 30 cents up from 20 cents a year ago.

The company’s shares rose to their highest level since 2008, adding 37 cents, or 2.6 per cent, to $14.49.

Mr Snowball said his burgeoning pay packet reflected his achievements since taking control at Suncorp in 2010.

“In the time that I have run Suncorp the share price has doubled. You will also find that we have outperformed by 50 per cent the ASX in that time, and this year our retail shareholders in Queensland received the highest dividend they’ve ever got from Suncorp,” he said.

He has forecast further growth for Suncorp in the current financial year, as it moves on from years of troubles in its banking business due to failed loans.

Suncorp bank made a profit of $228 million in 2013/14, up from a loss of $343 million a year earlier.

The group’s main earner is its insurance business, which owns the AAMI and GIO brands.

That business made a profit of $1.01 billion in 2013/14, up 14 per cent on the prior year due to lower natural hazard claims and a three per cent rise in written premiums.

Suncorp paid out $538 million in natural hazard claims in the year, $27 million lower than its allowances.

Its life insurance division made a loss of $84 million, due to $176 million in writedowns to recognise losses on some of its products.

Suncorp also took $320 million off the value of goodwill associated with its life insurance business, which was recognised in Suncorp’s overall profit.


* Full year net profit of $730m, up 47 pct from $491m in 2012/13

* Cash earnings of $1.3 billion, up from $576m

* Final dividend of 40 cents per share, up from 30 cents, plus special dividend of 30 cents, up from 20 cents