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Here’s why the QBE Insurance Group Ltd share price soared 9% today

The QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) share price soared as much as 12% higher today.

Source: Google FInance

Source: Google Finance

The above graph shows the QBE Insurance Group share price versus the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO).

What did QBE’s share price jump?

QBE’s share price rose sharply following the release of its 2015 Annual Report. For the year ended 31 December 2015, QBE reported a 9% fall in revenue to $US16,574 million and a net profit of $US687 million, down 7% on the prior corresponding period.

“I am pleased to report we have executed on the targets we set at the beginning of 2015, delivering an underwriting result at the better end and an insurance profit margin towards the middle of our target ranges,” QBE CEO, John Neal, said. “The success of our portfolio remediation activities of the last three years is evidenced by each of our businesses now producing an underwriting profit and, particularly, by the continuing improvement in the performance of our North American Operations.”

Chairman, Marston Becker, said, “I think I can say without doubt that this is the toughest marketplace I can remember. Increasing globalisation has seen new capital entering the insurance market seeking a profitable home and consequently dragging down prices.” Adding that at the same time investment returns are low.

Pleasingly, the company announced a final fully franked dividend of 30 cents per share, payable 14 April 2015.

Looking ahead, the company said its focus has now turned from remediation to focusing on delivering strategic initiatives. Organic growth, operational excellence and building the company’s talent pool remain three key goals for management.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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