QBE's first-half profit has risen 29 per cent to $US479 million ($A709 million) after an average 4.7 per cent increase in premiums helped lower the insurance giant's attritional claims ratio.
QBE says profit for the six months to June 30 rose from $US370 million in the prior corresponding period, with net earned premium edging up 0.4 per cent and the ratio of attritional claims - claims lower than $US2.5 million - to NEP falling across all divisions.
QBE lifted its interim dividend 3.0 cents to a partially franked 25.0 Australian cents.
The improved attritional claims ratio, which has fallen 7.0 per cent since its peak in the second half of 2017, was partly offset by an anticipated increase in the net cost of large individual risk and catastrophe claims following QBE's reinsurance restructure.
"We began 2019 with positive momentum and a clear strategy to drive further performance improvement across the business and deliver greater shareholder value," said chief executive Pat Regan, who succeeded John Neal in January 2018.
"We have made good progress through the first half."
Group-wide premium rate increases averaged 4.7 per cent compared with 4.6 per cent in the previous period.
QBE's North American business contributed 36.7 per cent of the group's $US7.64 billion gross written premium.
North American chief Russ Johnston is stepping down to be replaced from October 1 by Todd Jones, head of corporate risk at insurance broker Willis Towers Watson.
"North America represents a great opportunity for QBE," Mr Regan said.
"I am confident that with his background, Todd will bring invaluable perspectives as we look to further orientate our business around our customers and partners."
QBE'S FIRST-HALF PROGRESS
* Gross written premium down 3.2pct to $US7.64b
* Net earned premium up 0.4pct to $US5.67b
* Net profit up 29pct to $US479m
* Interim dividend up 3.0 cents to 25.0 cents, partially franked.