Private health insurance defies credit crunch as Bupa flourishes

29 August 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Private health insurance is holding up amid the credit crunch, Bupa's results for the first six months of 2008 have revealed.

As several large industries crumble under the pressure, private health insurer Bupa saw growth of 10.2 per cent. Overall, the group reported a pre-tax surplus of £165million for the first six months of 2008.

Speaking of the news, Bupa chief executive, Ray King, said: "While we cannot expect the group to be immune to the growing economic weakness in major economies, we expect Bupa to demonstrate resilience due to its breadth of activities in terms of geography and sector, and focus on health.

"The health and care markets that we serve remain very attractive and Bupa's main businesses have leading market positions. Our strong cash generation will enable us to continue to invest in our existing businesses and in new areas, such as our recently announced health insurance joint venture in India."

Just last month Bupa health insurance bought a 26 per cent stake in Max India Limited with the intention of merging into Max Bupa Health Insurance Ltd which will offer a range of consumer and business health insurance products in India.

Overall, Bupa saw the total number of customers insured jump to 10 million, a 30 per cent increase since December 2007. And, according to Mr King, things can only get better, he added:

"Bupa has a bright future with excellent prospects for long term growth whilst focusing on our key aspiration of helping our customers to lead longer, healthier and happier lives."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd