The NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF) share price has been among the best performers on the ASX 200 on Thursday.
In afternoon trade, the private health insurer’s shares are up 4.5% to $7.05.
This latest gain means the NIB share price is now up almost 17% in 2021.
Why is the NIB share price charging higher today?
The catalyst for the rise in the NIB share price today has been the release of a trading update at its annual general meeting. That update reveals that NIB has started FY 2022 in a very positive fashion.
According to the release, the private health insurer’s premium revenue increased 8.5% over the prior corresponding period to $669.5 million during the first quarter. This was driven by modest increases in policyholder numbers in Australia and New Zealand and premium increases.
In respect to the former, Australian resident health insurance (ARHI) policyholders increased 0.6% and New Zealand policyholders grew 1.3%. Offsetting this slightly was a 0.1% decline in international inbound health insurance (IIHI) policyholders.
Also potentially giving the NIB share price a boost was its claims update. The release shows that estimated ARHI claims fell 2.4% over the prior corresponding period to $442.5 million.
There was no mention of its guidance at the meeting. In light of this, the company appears to still be targeting ARHI net policyholder growth in the range of 2% to 3%.
At the meeting, NIB‘s new Chair, Steve Crane, spoke positively about the future.
He said: “While FY21 has certainly been another extra-ordinary year and not without its challenges, our business is in very good shape. We continue to grow with increased profitability, we are well capitalised and there is no shortage of opportunity ahead.”