Church to benefit from Insurances double profit

Catholic organisations throughout Australia are set to receive windfall dividends and insurance rebates of almost $28 million from the Church's general insurance business.

CLICK HEREThe Advertiser reportes that Catholic Church Insurances, Australia's oldest general insurance provider, almost doubled its annual profit to $77.1 million in the year to June.

On a measure of net earnings, CCI is now the eighth largest general insurer in Australia behind the Wesfarmers insurance division which posted a net profit of $97 million last year.

CCI's owners and policyholders will receive total distributions of $27.9 million under a profit-sharing arrangement approved by the insurer's board.

Likely to collect most of the distributions are the big archdioceses of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

The 2004-05 earnings result is 91% higher than the 2003-04 profit of $40.46 million and more than seven times the 2002-03 return of $10.78 million.

Since it was established in 1911, CCI has provided free personal accident insurance for every priest, brother and sister in church service.

It also provides free overseas travel insurance for bishops and funds the installation of security systems in Catholic schools.

CCI general insurer Peter Rush said the earnings growth had been driven by improved investment returns and underwriting.

"Our return on investments in the last two years has been quite exceptional," he said.

Meanwhile, in Adelaide the Church has won the tender to build the new $100 million SA Water headquarters in Victoria Square at the centre of the city's CBD.

The world-class green energy building will be erected on the old tram depot site on Angas St behind the St Francis Xavier's Cathedral.

The site, which was bought by the church from the State Government for $5.5 million in October last year, will be transformed into a 10 to 12-storey, five star energy-rated building.

The project will be developed by the Catholic Church Endowment Society, the commercial and legal arm of the church, which raises money for welfare and spiritual projects.

"This is our biggest commercial venture ever and it will generate significant funds to help the church fulfil its social and spiritual welfare missions," society spokeswoman Jane Swift said. "We believe we won the tender - which was vigorous and transparent - due to the excellence of our submission rather than being done any favour by the State Government."

The society will contract out the design, construction and finance of the project.

Premier Mike Rann said he applauded the Catholic Church on its "sustainable approach to developing the old tram barn site".

Faith and great care pays $28m (The Advertiser 10/12/05)
High watermark (Sunday Mail 11/12/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Church Insurances
Archdiocese of Adelaide

'Catholic values' at heart of new investment trust (CathNews 25/2/02)

$28m blessing for Catholics (Herald-Sun 10/12/05)
"Beatitudes Credit Card" Launched (Zenit 25/11/05)

12 Dec 2005