February 13, 2019 / 9:25 PM / in 2 months

Australia's Suncorp Group H1 profit hurt by Sydney hailstorm claims

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Australian insurer Suncorp Group Ltd posted a 45 percent fall in its first-half profit on Thursday, hurt by losses arising from a surge in natural hazard claims following a hailstorm in Sydney and lower investment returns.

Net profit for the six months ended Dec. 31 was A$250 million ($177.15 million), compared with A$452 million the year earlier.

The firm declared an interim dividend of 26 cents per share. ($1 = 1.4112 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job and Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by Susan Thomas)

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